Presented by Alisse Waterston
“My father was born into war,” begins Alisse Waterston’s intimate ethnography, a remarkable saga that is also social history. Born in Jedwabne on the eve of World War I, Waterston’s father traveled through the multiple violence’s of the 20th century. In this talk, the author presents a dramatic personal story that is part memoir and part social history that suggests large questions about the dramatic forces of history, the experience of exile and immigration, the legacies of culture, and the enduring power of memory. Professor Waterston looks to engage difficult topics by means of intimate ethnography that can serve as a meaningful way to think about, reflect upon, and even embrace painful histories—one’s own and that of others.
Alisse Waterston is Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology, City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and President of the American Anthropological Association. She is author of numerous books and articles on poverty, structural violence, displacement and dispossession, and writing anthropology. Professor Waterston has been an International Scholar of the Open Society Institute affiliated with Tbilisi State University (2012-2015).
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