Syracuse Symposium continues with keynote addresses by two celebrated authors
Syracuse Symposium continues with keynote addresses by two celebrated authorsMarch 20, 2003Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
After a Spring Break hiatus, the 2003 Syracuse Symposium, “Journeys,” will continue at Syracuse University with presentations by celebrated author and journalist Richard Bernstein and critically acclaimed novelist Jeffery Renard Allen. Both presentations are free and open to the public.
Allen will present “Rails Under My Back” March 24 at 7:30 p.m., in the Hall of Languages, Room 500.
Bernstein will present “Ultimate Journey: Retracing the Path of an Ancient Buddhist Monk Who Crossed Asia in Search of Enlightenment” March 27 at 7:30 p.m., in the Heroy Geology Building’s Heroy Auditorium.
An accomplished essayist and poet, Allen has been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as “an exciting and rewarding successor to the legacy of James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison.” New York Times book reviewer Stephen Donadio cited Allen’s award-winning novel “Rails Under My Back” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000) as a work that “may challenge the capacities of some readers, but anyone who accepts the invitation to complete this journey is likely to find that the effort has been worth it.” The novel, which is a journey through numerous literary forms, won the Whiting Writers Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, among others, and has evoked comparisons with the works of Toni Morrison, Richard Wright and William Faulkner.
Born and raised in Chicago, Allen is an associate professor at Queens College in New York City, where he specializes in African American literature and creative writing. He is also an instructor in the graduate writing program at The New School of Social Research. Allen has served as a Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and a John Farrar Fellow in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. His other published works include a collection of poems, “Harbors and Spirits” (Asphodel Pres/Moyer Bell 1999) and the forthcoming collection of poetry “Stellar Places” and a short novel “Radar Country.”
Bernstein was Time magazine’s first Beijing bureau chief following China’s cultural revolution. A recognized expert on China, he is the author of more than 20 cover stories on China and Southeast Asia and five books, including “Ultimate Journey: Retracing the Path of an Ancient Buddhist Monk Who Crossed Asia in Search of Enlightenment” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002). The book tells the story of Hsuan Tsang and also serves as an introduction to Buddhism as well as a memoir of the author’s own quest for meaning. Bernstein has been a book critic for the New York Times since 1995 and was recently appointed chief of the newspaper’s Berlin bureau.
The Syracuse Symposium is an annual intellectual festival celebrating interdisciplinary thinking, imagining and creating. The 2003 theme is “Journeys:” journeys of exploration and discovery, intellectual journeys, mythical and artistic journeys, migrations of peoples, exiles, liberations, pilgrimages and more. The series will continue throughout the Spring 2003 and Fall 2003 semesters and will include lectures, exhibits, performances and other special events.