by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore -
Special to the SGN
CONFLICT IS NOT ABUSE:
AND THE DUTY TO REPAIR
IN CONVERSATION WITH
MATTILDA BERNSTEIN SYCAMORE
SEATTLE CENTRAL LIBRARY
I'm writing because I'm teaming up with the Seattle Central Library to bring Sarah Schulman here on January 17 (Seattle Central Library, 1000 4th Ave., Microsoft Auditorium; doors at 6:30pm, event at 7pm) to talk about her new book, Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair. I'm sure you're familiar with Sarah's work over the last several decades as a nationally-renowned writer and AIDS activist, one of the first journalists to write about AIDS in the 1980s, as well as the co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project, co-producer of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, and the widely-respected author of 18 books. This will be Sarah's first reading in Seattle in well over a decade, and it's about time! (This event is FREE.)
Described by bell hooks as 'a vision of mutual recognition and accountability that liberates,' Conflict Is Not Abuse is a searing rejection of the cultural phenomena of blame, cruelty, and scapegoating. Schulman examines the moment where discomfort leads to overreaction in personal relations, in group dynamics, between governments and civilians, and between nations. She addresses police brutality, the anti-violence movement, HIV criminalization, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and many other hot-button issues, exposing the tragic trajectory from oppressed to oppressor, in order to illuminate a path toward de-escalation of conflict. While the book starts by scrutinizing the dynamics of intimate relationships, it is ultimately about saving lives.
Claudia Rankine says, 'It's impossible to be invested in the world and not be invested in this groundbreaking and challenging book.'
Hope to see you there!
Sarah Schulman is the author of eighteen books: the novels The Cosmopolitans; The Mere Future; The Child; Rat Bohemia; Shimmer; Empathy; After Delores; People In Trouble; Girls, Visions and Everything; and The Sophie Horowitz Story; the nonfiction works Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair; The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness To a Lost Imagination; Israel/Palestine and the Queer International; Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences; Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS and the Marketing of Gay America and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years; and the plays Mercy and Carson McCullers. She is co-author with Cheryl Dunye of the movies The Owls and Mommy is Coming, and co-producer with Jim Hubbard of the feature United in Anger: A History of ACT UP. She is co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project. Her awards include the 2009 Kessler Award for 'Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies' from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and two American Library Association Book Awards, and she was a Finalist for the Prix de Rome. She lives in New York, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at City University of New York (College of Staten Island) and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the author of a memoir and two novels, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies. Her latest title, The End of San Francisco, won a Lambda Literary Award, and her most recent anthology, Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. She recently finished a third novel, Sketchtasy, and is the host of 'Contagious Exchanges: Queer Writers in Conversation,' a monthly reading series at Hugo House on first Wednesdays.
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