Ten years after Edward Said’s passing, the financial and ideological crisis in higher education has caused the academy to increasingly retreat into itself. Ten years after Edward Said, it is difficult to find an academic who moves so seamlessly between world, text, and critique; who resists trenchant disciplinary specialization while insisting on the social responsibilities of scholars in an unequal world; who is as passionate a reader of the Western canon as a critic of its historic entanglements; who insists on reminding us, again and again, that knowledge and power cannot be thought apart. Said is dead, his loss is acute, and his absence tangible. Yet we are also surrounded by a range of creative and forceful engagements with the world: the struggle for open access scholarship, online communities fighting for privacy and advocating for basic rights, innovative art that grapples with a world of war and terror. This panel brings together individuals working in a range of contemporary activist-intellectual forms – art, music, poetry, journalism, social media, and academic scholarship – to consider their own practice in relation to the legacy of Edward Said. It looks anew at our worldliness and sees, alive as ever, the thought and will of many who carry on the work of Edward Said in music, in words, and in actions.
Martín Espada (poetry)
Chee Malabar (music)
Kade Crockford (law/social media)
Anjali Kamat (journalism)
Daisy Rockwell (art)
Robyn Spencer (academia)
Moderated by: Manan Ahmed
Co-sponsored by: The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (Columbia), York College African American Resource Center, The New Inquiry, and The Asian American Writers’ Workshop. With generous support from the Center for International History (Columbia), Center for Palestine Studies (Columbia), Department of Anthropology (Columbia), Department of History (NYU) and Committee on Globalization and Social Change (CUNY).