This April, Loren Glass (English, CLAS; Center for the Book) and the UI Center for Human Rights will present an interdisciplinary public symposium, 1984 in 2017. The all-day event will explore correlations between George Orwell's dystopian—and newly bestselling—novel 1984 and current events, addressing such questions as, What does it mean to live in a world where dystopian fiction resembles reality? Are there lessons to be learned? Can the tide be turned? Are contemporary authors exploring a dystopian future that is similarly harrowing? What role does literature play in our current political moment?
Glass directed the March 2007 Obermann Humanities Symposium, “Obscenity: An Interdisciplinary Discussion," a series of lectures, discussions, films, and exhibitions that examined censorship in a historical and global context. He also participated in the 2016 Digital Bridges Summer Institute, which investigated the various ways cultural material becomes transformed into data. His recent scholarship engages the emergent fields of book studies and the sociology of literature.
1984 in 2017 will take place on Friday, April 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. Symposium directors are currently seeking co-sponsorships and proposals for presentations from UI faculty, students, librarians, and community members.