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The Polish Cultural Institute in New York,
the National Book Critics Circle,
the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, and
the Literary Reportage concentration at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

A Public Conversation

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6
5:00-7:00 PM: The Art of Reportage on the Ground and on the Page
7:30-9:30 PM: Literary Reportage Between Fact and Fiction,
Self and Other

Wednesday, October 7
6:30-8:30 PM: Kapuscinski's Legacy in the 21st Century

Hemmerdinger Hall, New York University
100 Washington Square East, New York, NY
Admission: Free and open to the public 

Kapuscinski's writing, always wonderfully concrete and observant, conjures marvels of meaning out of minutiae... [The Emperor] transcends reportage... - Salman Rushdie

This two-day event offers an exciting public conversation about the state of the art of reportage amid a rapidly changing media landscape, the various approaches to and practices of long-form and literary journalism, and the ongoing legacy of renowned practitioners like Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski. At a time when categorical differences between fiction and nonfiction are increasingly ambiguous, and the gap between their respective segments of the publishing market increasingly small, a discussion of reportage as literary art form is paramount.

This conversation may be understood as a continuation of two previous discussions initiated and co-presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York: Literary Reportage: The Forensics of Crisis, which took place at Idlewild Books in May 2009, and the Tribute to Ryszard Kapuscinski at the PEN World Voices Festival in 2007. Here, however, Kapuscinski is taken less as an object of reflection and homage than as a point of departure for understanding the current state of reportage and its future. As a Polish writer, Kapuscinski both represents a tradition of journalism that is understood as serious literature (the Polish School of Reportage) and offers to English-language readers a perspective on postcolonial experiences and global relations that is unique.

Participants include leading U.S. and international authors: Robert S. Boynton, Breyten Breytenbach, Jane Ciabattari, Joshua Clark, Ted Conover, Klara Glowczewska, Eliza Griswold, Arif Jamal, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Suketu Mehta, Wiktor Osiatynski, Alistair Reid, Elizabeth Rubin, David Samuels and Lawrence Weschler, as well as representatives of the post-Kapuscinski Polish School of Reportage: Wojciech Jagielski and Pawel Smolenski.

This free public program is presented in association with the Overseas Press Club of America and Words Without Borders.

The symposium coincides with the launch this fall of the Literary Reportage concentration at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute as well as a special issue on literary reportage of the online magazine Words without Borders, which features work by a number of the participants.

Program and Participants

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More about Ryszard Kapuscinski

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