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Internationally acclaimed author to speak on campus April 19

Author and champion of the liberal arts, Azar Nafisi.
Author and champion of the liberal arts, Azar Nafisi.
the Author

In celebration of the St. Catherine University “Year of the Liberal Arts,” internationally acclaimed author and champion of the liberal arts, Azar Nafisi, will be the keynote speaker for the launch of the University’s School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, and the Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence April 18-20.

She will discuss "The Republic of the Imagination"—how the arts and literature can transcend political boundaries—Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in The O’Shaughnessy on the St. Paul campus (2004 Randolph Avenue). The lecture is free, but tickets will be required; tickets may be reserved by calling 651-690-6700 or picked up at The O'Shaughnessy box office.

In addition to her lecture on April 19, Nafisi will discuss her work with students and faculty both in and out of the classroom during her residency.


"The Republic of the Imagination"

April 19, 7 p.m.
The O'Shaughnessy
free, open to the public

St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

The transformative power of fiction
Nafisi is the author of the international bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, a gripping portrayal of the Islamic revolution in Iran and its impact on a university professor and her students. Named one of the “100 Best Books of the Decade” by The Times (London), Reading Lolita in Tehran is an insightful exploration of the transformative power of fiction in a world of tyranny.

Nafisi is currently a visiting professor and the director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. She is a professor of aesthetics, culture and literature, and teaches courses on the relationship between culture and politics.

A prolific author of both books and articles, she is now working on Republic of the Imagination, a book about the power of literature to liberate minds; another, That Other World: Nabokov and the Puzzle of Exile, will be published by Yale University Press in January 2012.

Celebrating academic excellence
St. Catherine University is celebrating the “Year of the Liberal Arts” in 2011 to acknowledge the central role the liberal arts plays in educating students to meet 21st century challenges.

Rooted in the knowledge, values and skills fostered by the humanities, arts and sciences, the University’s curriculum also responds to local market and global realities students will encounter. Students develop a repertoire of critical thinking and communication skills and the ability to take effective, ethical action in an increasingly complex global community.

Kelly programs honor liberal arts
The Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence is one of three programs endowed by Joan Kelly '46 in honor of her late older sister, Bonnie Jean Kelly, who died suddenly while she was a student at St. Kate's.

Joan Kelly was an English major and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, and credits the liberal arts education she received at St. Kate’s for her success. The Kelly gift also funds annual student and faculty writing awards.


Jan. 11, 2011 by Julie Michener

See also: Liberal Arts