Two-Day Symposium on Iraqi Literature After U.S. Invasion

Sept. 28-29 event is free and open to the public

DURHAM, N.C. -- A two-day symposium focused on literature published in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion takes place Sept. 28-29 at Duke University.

The event, which is free and open to the public, highlights the significance of cultural production in, and from, an area largely perceived in the United States as an intractable war zone.

The program begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, with a screening of the film “Ahlaam (Dreams)” in Room 209 of the East Duke building. Parking is available on side streets.

The 2006 film, directed by Iraqi-Dutch filmmaker Mohamed al-Daradji and filmed in Baghdad at the height of the insurgency, is set in a psychiatric asylum and follows the lives of three patients whose fates become irrevocably linked. The film has won myriad international awards, including at the Leeds International Film Festival.

On Friday, Sept. 29, the program will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Pink Parlor in the East Duke building with an introductory note from Duke professor Abdul Sattar Jawad, a former university dean in Iraq who fled to the U.S. via Jordan in 2005 with assistance from Scholars at Risk. He will deliver an address on Iraqi literature under the Ba’ath regime. A poetry reading and the panel on Iraqi literature will follow Jawad’s address.

Iraqi novelist and New York University professor Sinan Antoon will conclude the event with a reading from his latest book, “Baghdad Eucharist” (Hoopoe 2017).

For more information, contact Griffin Orlando at or (919) 668-1653.