Disentangling Disinformation | Palestine and the Power of Language

Event time: 
Thursday, April 11, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
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Event description: 

Elena Dudum is a Palestinian & Syrian-American writer whose work is sometimes funny, sometimes political, sometimes both. Lately, her writing seeks to explore the boundaries of generational trauma and what it means to have an identity shaped by political narratives and agendas. As a grandchild of Palestinian refugees, her work tries to untangle the notion of a “homeland” and how she can connect to this amorphous place — two generations removed.

Most recently, Elena graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Nonfiction Writing where she also taught freshmen composition for the last two years. Her graduate thesis: “I Was Told Back Home Would Be Beautiful” examines her relationship to her Palestinian identity from childhood to adulthood. Through a collection of essays that experiment with form, length, and narrative threads, Elena tries to make sense of what it means to desire whiteness. She analyzes what’s at stake when oral histories are not accepted as part of the mainstream, Western narrative and examines whose lived experiences are deemed important, human, and worth protecting.

Organized by the Program on Peace and Development at Yale University, MADE (Mass Atrocities in the Digital Era), and the Department of Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto