Pulitzer Prize–winning author Lawrence Wright to deliver opening keynote at Rapoport Center’s conference on legacies of conflict, February 17–18, 2011

Pulitzer Prize–winning author and New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright will deliver the keynote address at the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center’s seventh annual multidisciplinary conference, “Aftershocks: Legacies of Conflict,” on February 17 and 18, 2011.

Wright’s lecture, “How Al-Qaeda Ends: The Future of Terror Ten Years After 9/11,” will be held on Thursday, February 17, at 4:00 p.m. in the Eidman Courtroom at the University of Texas School of Law. The lecture and the conference are free and open to the public.

The conference is organized to coincide with the presentation this week by Texas Performing Arts of Black Watch, an award-winning play performed by the National Theatre of Scotland that explores the experiences of Scottish soldiers deployed to fight in Iraq. The conference brings together scholars, activists, and writers to explore intersections of violence, the colonial past, memory, and trauma, as well as to consider the unique role that performance might play in the understanding of these themes.

Wright’s lecture will be followed by a panel that includes Scottish playwright Gregory Burke, who wrote Black Watch. The conference will continue on Friday, February 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Jeffers Courtroom, with panels titled “Colonial Legacies,” “Traumatic Legacies,” and “Institutional and Legal Legacies.” Panelists will consider the resonances of conflict from multiple disciplines and mediums, and ranging from places as varied as Guatemala, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Iraq.

“This conference aims to attend the multiple ways that conflict reverberates long beyond any official proclamation of its end,” says UT Law Professor Karen Engle, director of the Rapoport Center, further noting that speakers from law, history, literature, political science, and other disciplines will consider such aftershocks. Panelists include Neloufer de Mel, professor of English at Colombo University in Sri Lanka; Michael Rothberg, founding director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies Initiative at the University of Illinois; Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota and co-founder and associate director of the University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Kate Doyle, senior analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America at the National Security Archive.

The conference is cosponsored by a number of institutes and centers on campus.

For additional information about the conference and the full schedule, see the conference website. Registration is encouraged and is available at the same site.

For more information on Black Watch, see the Texas Performing Arts website.

For information on other events in which Lawrence Wright will participate in this week as a part of his residency as Cline Visiting Professor at the university’s Humanities Institute, see the College of Liberal Arts website.              

Contact: Sarah Cline, Rapoport Center administrator, 512-232-4857 or scline@law.utexas.edu.