Of Consequence

Our Of Consequence video series creates space for the public and those with expertise in the consequences of war or geopolitical violence to interact. These individuals with expertise include not only authors and artists who’ve drawn on their personal experiences as a combatant, victim, or witness to create their work, but also scholars and professionals whose careers are heavily concerned with these realities. Events include panels, readings, presentations, and Q&As.

Upcoming Event

We will be hosting a screening and discussion around the documentary SĀNSŪR. Date and time TBD.

“Six women, who bravely defied the written and unwritten boundaries to freedom of expression in Iran, face the consequences of not conforming to censorship. An artist, schoolteacher, journalist, athlete, musician and actress experienced lay-offs, harassment and arrests. They are forced to either obey, or live a life in exile. Through their stories, this creative documentary questions what kind of sacrifices are required of Iranian women and what censorship, such as the wearing of the mandatory hijab, means for their identity, individuality and dreams. SĀNSŪR is the story of women seeking freedom, and as they leave behind repression, harassment, arrests and discrimination for the mere fact of being a woman, they slowly find little openings again to laugh, to sing, and to dance.”

Past Events

A Conversation with Women of the Bosnian Diaspora

Nov. 9, 2023—As an adjunct to research conducted for her historical novel Nermina’s Chance, and in advance of her book tour to Bosnia, Dina Greenberg initiated an interview series entitled “Women of the Bosnian Diaspora.”

Adna Gasi, Melisa Saldic, Nihada Hasanovic, and Vildana Kurtovic are among these women, and have graciously agreed to discuss their personal stories of loss and resilience. A self-selected group, these women provide an accurate representation of the Bosnian diaspora; they have each earned advanced degrees, embarked on high-level professional careers in their host countries, and become advocates in the diaspora community.

Tracing Homeland; Israel, Palestine, and the Claims of Belonging

Oct. 5, 2023—Of Consequence hosted authors Linda Dittmar and Martha Collins to discuss Linda’s new book, Tracing Homeland; Israel, Palestine, and the Claims of Belonging.

Born in NYC in 1938, Linda Dittmar grew up in British Mandate Palestine as it became Israel. She served two years in the IDF and attended the Hebrew University before coming to study in the US. With a Ph.D. in English from Stanford University (1970), she taught 20th century fiction and film at the University of Massachusetts for forty years. During those years she taught at Tel Aviv University, lectured at the University of Paris, and won several grants and prizes, including two Fulbright grants to India, the second as Distinguished Chair. Her academic publications include the books From Hanoi to Hollywood; the Vietnam War in American Film and Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism, including decades of service on Radical Teacher‘s editorial board. 

Deterrence Policies of the US Border Patrol

Aug. 31, 2023—Jenn Budd, the only former U.S. Border Patrol agent to continually blow the whistle on this federal agency’s rampant corruption, challenges us-as individuals and as a nation-to face the consequences of our actions. Her journey offers a vital perspective on the unfolding moral crisis of our time. She also gives harrowing testimony about rape culture, white privilege, women in law enforcement, LGBTQ issues, mental illness, survival and forgiveness.

Jenn Budd wrote Against the Wall to heal herself from a traumatic childhood, a sexual assault she survived while in the Border Patrol academy and a serious suicide attempt in 2015. Much like our border wall, her personal walls did not keep her safe. Her trauma and the trauma she caused others only began to heal when she began tearing down her personal walls and facing her own prejudices and racism . . . “I hope my memoir will prompt more citizens to face our prejudices, dismantle institutionalized racism and be willing to listen to those we’ve harmed.”

Dreaming the Mountain

June 14, 2023—Dreaming the Mountain compiles and translates poems written over a period of almost forty years by Vietnamese Buddhist poet and scholar Tuệ Sỹ, who was imprisoned in Vietnam for fourteen years and at one point condemned to death. Translated by poet-translators Nguyen Ba Chung and Martha Collins, the poems trace Tuệ Sỹ’s journey from his student and professor years in Saigon, through a time of solitude following the 1975 end of war, and into the years of his first imprisonment and temporary release. The book concludes with two poetic sequences written between 2000 and 2006.

The Craft of Poetry & Value of Mentorship

March 16th, 2023—Acclaimed poets Matthew Thorburn and Aaron Caycedo-Kimura sat down with Consequence poetry editor Milica Mijatović and tackled some of the oldest questions surrounding whether writing can actually be taught, and how challenging subject matter like war and geopolitcal violence can be a fraught enterprise.

Women, Writing, and War

Sept 29, 2023—A discussion with three contributors from Vol 14.1 that focused on the relationships among women, writing, and war.

Maša Torbica was born in Zagreb shortly before the breakup of Yugoslavia. She currently teaches at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Elaine Little is a writer, Army Veteran, and mother of three. She deployed to Cuba, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She has published short stories and articles in books and literary journals.

Pamela Hart is writer in residence at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY. Her book, Mothers Over Nangarhar (Sarabande Books, 2019), won the Kathryn A. Morton prize. 

Peter Balakian: The Man Who Would Not Bow

Aug 24, 2022—Pulitizer Prize winning poet Peter Balakian read from his latest book, No Sign (The Univeristy of Chcago Press, 2022) and took part in a Q&A with the audience.

From the Press: “In these poems, Peter Balakian wrestles with national and global cultural and political realities, including challenges for the human species amid planetary transmutation and the impact of mass violence on the self and culture.”

New Moons + Intergenerational Legacies of Violence

Nov. 17, 2022—A discussion about the intergenerational legacies of violence as experienced by select writers from the new anthology, New Moons (Red Hen Press, 2021).

From the Introduction: “The goal with this anthology is to represent that full range of contemporary expressions of Islam, as well as a full range of genres—poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, political writing, cultural writing, and of course plenty of texts which mix and match and blur all of these modes . . . the trajectories between the pieces—like that of kismet—will be multiple, nonlinear, abstract. The Muslim community is plural and contradictory. This collection of voices ought to be symphony and cacophony at once, like the body of Muslims as they are today.”—Kazim Ali

Askold Melnyczuk: The Man Who Would Not Bow

Nov. 3, 2021—Acclaimed author Askold Melnyczuk reads from and holds a Q&A about his new book, The Man Who Would Not Bow (Grand Iota, 2021).

From the Los Angeles Review of Books: “One of the main themes of Melnyczuk’s stories is the haunting legacy of wartime suffering inherited from these departed parents. It is exactly this that pushes a young journalist from the United States, Oliver Street, to go to the Middle East to report on war in “Termites.” Having purposely experienced war firsthand, he now better understands the World War II experience of his mother Yulia, “whose stories about her war suddenly felt less abstract.”

Stefan Lovasik: The Latitude of a Mercy

May 17, 2021—Of Consequence partnered with the Paul Pratt Memorial Library of Cohasset, MA, to present author and Viet Nam veteran Stefan Lovasik and his third collection of poetry, The Latitude of a Mercy (NYQ Books, 2021). The event included select readings and a Q&A session.

From Small Press Distribution: ” … Lovasik offers a testament of unflinching immediacy, conflicted sensitivity, and lyric grace—poem after poem, wise without presumption, pared down to a breed of silent speech, the stubborn legacy of what must be said and all that never can.”

Liat Berdugo & Linda Dittmar: The Weaponized Camera

Feb. 25, 2021—Scholar Liat Berdugo and author Linda Dittmar discuss Liat’s new book, The Weaponized Camera in the Middle East: Videography, Aesthetics, and Politics in Israel and Palestine (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021).

From Bloomsbury: “Using video stills as core material, [Liat’s book] discusses the politics of videographic evidence in Israel/Palestine by demonstrating that the conflict is one that has produced an inequality of visual rights. The book highlights visual surveillance and counter surveillance at the citizen level, how Palestinians originally filmed to ‘shoot back’ at Israelis, who were armed with shooting power via weapons as the occupying force.”

Jennifer Rosner & Meg Waite Clayton

Dec. 2, 2020—Consequence Forum joins Cohasset’s Paul Pratt Memorial Library to present Jennifer Rosner, author of The Yellow Bird Sings (Flatiron Books, 2020) and Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Last Train to London (HarperCollins, 2019). Hosted by novelist Alexandra Marshall, the program will be a conversation between these two celebrated authors about their acclaimed work.

Valerie Miner & Andria Williams

Nov. 17, 2020—Consequence joined hands with Cohasset’s Paul Pratt Memorial Library to bring Valerie Miner, author of the recently released Bread and Salt (Whitepoint Press, 2020), and Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night (Random House, 2016), together in a conversation on writing about war and violence. The event was hosted by Peter Brown and featured readings from each author, as well as a discussion of what books they’re reading.

“Avoiding Disaster Porn” with Phil Klay and Tom Sleigh

Oct. 27, 2020—How do we write about war without creating simple disaster porn, or a receptacle for cheap rage, or a self-glorifying monument to one’s own moral sensibility? How do we not only bring war into focus “but make it so physically immediate that abstractions evaporate”? What of the “wall” between those living under threat, and those living in security?

Consequence Forum joins with Harvard Book Store and Cohasset’s Paul Pratt Memorial Library to bring together authors Phil Klay and Tom Sleigh to talk about these questions via Phil’s new book, Missionaries (Penguin Random House, 2021).

M.C. Armstrong: The Mysteries of Haditha

Oct. 9, 2020—Consequence Forum joins with Scuppernong Books, The Wrath-Bearing Tree, and the Paul Pratt Memorial Library to bring M.C. Armstrong, author of his recently published memoir, The Mysteries of Haditha, with Andria Williams in a conversation about Armstrong’s book.

Williams will explore Armstrong’s journey of discovery in Iraq where he not only uncovered military mysteries but came to know himself along the way.

The Feminine Heroic: Teresa Fazio and Megan Mayhew Bergman

Sept. 14, 2020—Join us for an interview and conversation on “The Feminine Heroic” between Teresa Fazio, author of Fidelis (Potomac Books, 2020), and Megan Mayhew Bergman.

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: The Mountains Sing

Aug. 13, 2020—Consequence Forum joins with Newtonville Books and The William Joiner Institute to talk to Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, author of The Mountains Sing, (Algonquin, 2020). An in-depth look at the ravages of war and the strength of family, Quế Mai’s stunning historical fiction is a sweeping account of Việt Nam’s 20th century history through the lens of one family. This is the Việt Nam we should all know.

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