Thinking through terror

Thu 5 May 2022, 17:15 - 18:15

Accessible parking
Wheelchair accessible venue
Low angle view of barbed wide fence set against the sky
Esther Simpson Building, University of Leeds Woodhouse Lane Leeds, LS2 9JT

Event ended

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Professor Preti Taneja taught writing to men in high security prison for three years. Her programme co ordinator was Jack Merritt, who was killed in a terrorist atrocity at Fishmonger’s Hall, London, 2019, during an event for Learning Together, the Cambridge University prison education programme he worked for. The next morning, Preti found out the perpetrator was Usman Khan, one of her former prison-writing students. Released on license, Khan had been under surveillance by MI5, police and probation. During the inquests, it was found that Cambridge University was considered what has been termed 'a protective factor' by authorities for him on the outside.

In this lecture and with reference to her new book Aftermath, Preti thinks through terror to consider questions of education, the role of writing, and of dignity, justice, grief and culpability in the context of systemic political harms; and the ethics, aesthetics and politics of making narrative in a time of complex and highly racialised trauma in the UK.

Speaker: Professor Preti Taneja, Professor of World Literature and Creative Writing, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University

A portrait photo of Professor Preti Taneja by Suki Dhanda
Professor Preti Taneja by Suki Dhanda

Preti is a writer and activist, and Professor of World Literature and Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Her novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press, 2017) won the UK’s Desmond Elliott Prize, and was listed for awards including the Folio Prize, Republic of Consciousness Prize (UK), the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize (India) and Europe’s premier award for a work of world literature, the Prix Jan Michalski. It has been translated into several languages and is published in the USA by A.A. Knopf. Her second book, Aftermath on the language of trauma, terror, prison and abolition written following the London Bridge terror attack in 2019, is part of the Undelivered Lecturers series from Transit Books USA, and will be published in the UK by And Other Stories in this month (April) 2022. Aftermath has been critically acclaimed as a 'major landmark in British narrative non-fiction' (Max Porter). Preti is co-chair of the PEN Translation Advisory Group and a Contributing Editor at The White Review magazine.

Free, booking required

This event includes a reception for all attendees after the lecture.

This event will take place in-person at the University of Leeds, Leeds. A recording of this event will be added to the University of Leeds YouTube channel after the event has taken place. If you have any questions about this event please email [email protected].

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