Featured Events

The Poetry of Exile || Poetry Reading by Lan Duong and Ghayath Almadhoun


Tuesday, April 25 at 4:00 pm 

Max Kade Institute at 2714 S. Hoover Street

The Exile and Resistance series returns with two very special guests: Ghayath Almadhoun, a Damascusborn, Palestinian poet who has lived in Stockholm and Berlin, has published four books of poetry, and is currently a visiting fellow at the Thomas Mann House, and Lan Duong, Associate Professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, scholar of postcolonial cinema, gender, and Asian-American studies, founding member of the Critical Refugee Studies Collective, and author of the 2023 poetry collection Nothing Follows. Both speakers address the challenges and complexities of refugee experiences through their writing. Almadhoun and Duong will read
selections of their poetry and will then join in a moderated discussion with Paul Lerner, Max Kade Institute director.

Exile and Resistance Lecture Series

Migrants and Refugees in Literature, History, and Public Affairs

The century stretching from the end of World War I to the present has seen an explosion in mobility and migration. The post-World War I order—persistent outbreaks of violence, and shifting European and Middle Eastern borders and boundaries—created what Hannah Arendt called “the problem of the stateless people.” The rise of the Nazis and other fascist movements in the 1930s led to a groundswell of emigrants and exiles, and both the Nazis’ genocidal war and post-World War II upheavals and persecutions further exacerbated the crises. In the past decade, the number of forcibly displaced persons has exceeded those of the years around World War II. If the European migrant crisis has served as the main sounding board for current discourses around migration, it is far from the only epicenter of global migration. 

What can the history of forced displacement teach us about the current moment? How, in turn, does a history of the present alter our understanding of the past? And given the persistence of the problem of statelessness, is “crisis” the best framework to speak of migrants and refugees? Indeed the multidirectional patterns of so-called economic migration, too, intersect with the histories of imperialism, nationalism, and fascism in often-unpredictable ways, putting pressure on prevailing notions of “forced” versus “voluntary” displacement. With a broad historical and geographic lens, the Exile and Resistance lecture series examines the overlapping trajectories of exile, migration, and statelessness over the last century, shedding light on experiences and representations of displacement, loss, and persecution and highlighting sites of political and cultural resistance. The series will bring together scholars, artists, and activists for ongoing interdisciplinary presentations and discussions around recent research, films/ documentaries, and artistic pieces that focus on the subjects of exile and resistance in historical as well as contemporary contexts and in a multitude of geographical regions.

Inspired by USC Libraries’ exile studies collections, which include the papers of German-Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger, Exile and Resistance is the result of a joint partnership between USC Libraries, USC Max Kade Institute for Austrian–German–Swiss Studies, and USC Dornsife Department of French and Italian.

  • Department of Comparative Literature
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 161
  • Mail Code 0355
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0353