Announcing The Muslim Protagonist 2015: Art as Protest

Click here to redirect to our official site for 2015. You are currently on the site for the Protag Blog and Zine.

Check out our speakers!

Like us on Facebook  |  Follow us @muslimprotag  |  Check out the 1st annual symposium’s 2012 Recap and this year’s Facebook event

McNally Jackson will sell books for signings on Feb. 28th.

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The Muslim Protagonist is an annual literary symposium of Muslim and minority writers, artists, and thinkers at Columbia University, hosted by the Columbia Muslim Students Association (MSA) and opened to participants of all backgrounds, ages, faiths, and cultures as a means of facilitating dialogue, networking, and inspirational as well as practical tools for pursuing “literature as an agent of social, intellectual, and spiritual change.” The event is not an event exclusively for Muslims, “minorities,” or Columbia students/faculty — everyone is welcome.

In 2012, in order to address the growing need for a Muslim voice in the great sea of American literature, the Columbia Muslim Students Association invited renowned novelists, playwrights, journalists and academics from across the world to Columbia University for a weekend filled with inspiration and wisdom. The symposium, a series of talks, panels, and workshops held during the weekend of November 10th, attracted over 300 attendees from universities and communities across the northeast. Focusing on literature and art as agents of social change, the event shed light on the importance of the Muslim protagonist in a post-9/11 America, and gave prominent Muslim and non-Muslim writers of this generation the opportunity to discuss their shared experiences within an emerging American-Muslim literary community. The symposium has since expanded into a three-day event consisting of an open mic and speaker performances, a main day of panels and talks, and workshops and seminars taught by esteemed speakers. The Muslim Protagonist has received coverage from The Huffington Post to Pakistan’s Express Tribune and has been lauded by speakers and attendees as “groundbreaking.” 2014’s Media Kit provides more information.

In its third year, The Muslim Protagonist will build on the previous years’ remarkable successes and delve deeper into the issue of marginalized narratives in and outside of Muslim communities in a unique and thoughtful way, bringing together writers from diverse communities in America. This year’s theme, “Art as Protest,” will feature discussions surrounding art and literature as agents of socio-political, intellectual, and spiritual change. We will be examining questions such as: What does it mean to produce and interpret non-canonical literature? What does it mean to be a subject, a citizen, a community member, an artist, and a protagonist? What roles do literary and artistic works play in the charged political climate dominating our world today? What role have they played historically for Muslims in and outside of modern America, and what lessons if any do they provide us with today? What is at stake in producing work that disrupts dominant narratives?

Feedback on The Muslim Protagonist 2014

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Feedback on The Muslim Protagonist 2014

Thank you for making it out to Columbia on the weekend of Feb. 22 and attending The Muslim Protagonist 2014! We hope you found the experience meaningful and insightful, and we’re interested in hearing your thoughts on the symposium and workshops via this Google Form. Feel free to write as little or as much as you’d like – we value any and all feedback.

Announcing: The Muslim Protagonist 2014: A Synthesis of Journeys

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The Muslim Protagonist is an annual symposium of Muslim and minority writers, artists, and thinkers at Columbia University, hosted by the Columbia Muslim Students Association and opened to people of all backgrounds, faiths, and cultures as a means of facilitating dialogue, networking, and tools for pursuing “literature as an agent of social, spiritual, and intellectual change.”

Like 2014′s symposium on Facebook  |  Follow us @muslimprotag  |  Check out the 1st annual symposium’s 2012 Recap and Facebook page

On Feb. 22, 2014 @ Columbia University, The Muslim Protagonist will build on the previous year’s remarkable success and delve deeper into the issue of the minority narrative in a unique and thoughtful way, bringing together writers from diverse minority communities in America, and writers of diverse dimensions, past and future. A new, stellar cast of speakers will help us in asking, what makes a protagonist? Who has she/he been in the past, in classic Muslim literature, and who is she/he re-imagined to be in the distant future or in an alternative present? What can we learn from the diverse immigrant and “indigenous” narratives of today in America, and what do we know from the emergent Muslim narrative already taking form?

Sign up to our mailing list by visiting our launch site to stay updated with the latest developments on February’s symposium. We’ll be updating this Facebook event regularly as well, so stay tuned!