Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
by Laila Lalami

Community Reading

Ongoing

Save the Date: Laila Lalami will give the Community Reading Keynote Address on March 21, 2018.

Each summer, Lafayette invites the entire community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and our neighbors in Easton and surrounding areas—to read a work of literature that we will explore together throughout the upcoming academic year.

The choice for summer 2017 is Laila Lalami’s acclaimed 2005 debut novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits.

From the publisher:

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. As four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain, author Laila Lalami asks, What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future.

“A dream of a debut, by turns troubling and glorious, angry and wise.” —Junot Diaz

Gain a little insight on the story from the author herself, add this novel to your summer reading pile, and then join us throughout the 17/18 academic year for multidisciplinary events that will provide a context for us to delve into the book’s themes together, as a community.

 

Events

Islamic Calligraphy: A Treasure Unveiled

Islamic Calligraphy: A Treasure Unveiled

LECTURE

Thursday
October 12, 2017
4:15 p.m.

Skillman Library
Gendebien Room
College Hill, Easton, PA

Calligrapher Elinor Aishah Holland will offer an illustrated presentation on this traditional art form in Islamic culture and essential part of a civilization that exists from Morocco to Indonesia. The beauty of Arabic letterforms will be highlighted, along with styles and developments, as well as methods and materials, with an emphasis on the great Ottoman tradition.

Blood Leaves Its Trail

Blood Leaves Its Trail (Khoon Diy Baarav)

Film and Q&A with the Filmmaker

Monday
October 16, 2017
7 p.m.

Landis Cinema at Buck Hall
219 North 3rd Street (at Snyder Street)
Easton, PA

Iffat Fatima captures one of the most prolonged conflicts in the Muslim world—Kashmir, which is currently experiencing a large-scale revolt against Indian rule. Blood Leaves Its Trail (or Khoon Diy Baarav) was filmed over a period of nine years to tell the story of contemporary Kashmir through the lives of family members of the victim of enforced disappearances.

Filmmaker Iffat Fatima will join us for a Q&A session immediately after the screening.

Admission is free.

Presented by the Departments of History and Film and Media Studies.

Aasif Mandvi

An Evening With Aasif Mandvi

Stand-Up Comedy

Tuesday
October 24, 2017
8 p.m.

Colton Chapel
College Hill, Easton, PA

The activist, actor, writer, and former Daily Show correspondent has mined Islamophobia for comedy gold for years. Known for his satirical spin, Aasif Mandvi provides humorous perspective on the news, daily life, and diversification in the media.

Admission is free.

Mariela Shaker

Mariela Shaker

CONCERT

Friday
October 27, 2017
7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts
317 Hamilton Street (at High Street)
College Hill, Easton, PA

Mariela Shaker is an accomplished Syrian violinist who has received worldwide recognition for her stunning performances at the Kennedy Center, United Nations, and many other venues. She was born in Aleppo, Syria, where she began playing the violin at the age of 10 in Aleppo’s Arabic Institute of Music. In 2013, she received a scholarship to attend Monmouth College in Illinois to study Music Performance. She is currently studying for her Master’s in Music Performance at DePaul University. After her performance, she will be speaking about her experiences as a Syrian refugee in the United States.

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted on behalf of local refugee resettlement agency Bethany Christian Services.

Presented by Refugee Action and co-sponsored by the Offices of Religious and Spiritual Life and Intercultural Development; the Departments of Government and Law, Music, Anthropology and Sociology, International Affairs, Women and Gender Studies, and Religious Studies; and the Lafayette Intercultural Networking Council (LINC)

Song of Lahore

Song of Lahore

Film and Q&A with the artists

Wednesday
November 1, 2017
7 p.m.

Landis Cinema at Buck Hall
219 North 3rd Street (at Snyder Street)
Easton, PA

An award-winning documentary about The Sachal Jazz Ensemble that traces the group’s journey from Pakistan to New York’s Lincoln Center and asks whether there is still room for musicians in a society roiled by conflict. Watch the trailer here.

Members of The Sachal Jazz Ensemble will join us for a Q&A session immediately after the screening.

Tickets are free but should be obtained in advance. They will be available beginning in September through the Williams Center for the Arts.

Visiting Artist Iman Raad

Iman Raad

Lecture

Thursday
November 2, 2017
4:00 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts
Room 108
317 Hamilton Street (at High Street)
College Hill, Easton, PA

Iranian artist Iman Raad’s highly contemporary aesthetic marries influences as diverse as traditional Persian miniatures and digital glitch art. As part of his residency at Lafayette’s Experimental Printmaking Institute, he will discuss his work and influences in this public lecture.

Image courtesy of Iman Raad, detail of Untitled (Birds), 2016. See more of Raad’s work in the Vice article “Psychedelic Paintings Cast a Colorful Eye on Food Trucks and Persian Miniatures.”

 

The Sachal Jazz Ensemble

The Sachal Jazz Ensemble

CONCERT

Thursday
November 2, 2017
8 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts
317 Hamilton Street (at High Street)
College Hill, Easton, PA

In defiance of years-long Taliban influence on local culture, Pakistan’s classical masters preserved their music and improvisational techniques underground, emerging in 2011 with an ambitious recording covering Western jazz standards on traditional instruments. The Sachal Jazz Ensemble’s angle on Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” went viral, earning them world-wide recognition and an invitation from Wynton Marsalis to perform at Lincoln Center. In this cross-cultural, genre-bending concert, works by Mancini, Brubeck, and Grusin converse with practices from a cradle of civilization on sitar, flute, sarangi, and tablas—truly the quintessence of “world music.”

Tickets available from July 1 at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Calligrapher Sultan Ali Mashhadi

The Life and Times of Calligrapher Sultan Ali Mashhadi: Arts of the Book and Literature in Late 15th-Century Herat

LECTURE

Monday
November 13, 2017
4:30 p.m.

Skillman Library
Gendebien Room
College Hill, Easton, PA

David J. Roxburgh, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History, Department of the History of Art & Architecture, Harvard University, speaks about the noted calligrapher of Lafayette College’s Persian Manuscript, which was produced in the city of Herat in 1515.

2017 Schlueter Lecture in the Art and History of the Book