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McNally Jackson will be selling books during the book signings on Feb. 22nd.


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 (MSA) and opened to people of all backgrounds, ages, faiths, and cultures as a means of facilitating dialogue, networking, and 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, Columbia MSA invited renowned novelists, playwrights, journalists and academics to Columbia 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 all over the northeast including Boston, Penn, Princeton, Yale and Rutgers. Focusing on writing 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 experiences within an emerging American-Muslim literary community. Last year’s symposium — entitled, “The Muslim Protagonist: Write your own story” — received coverage from The Huffington Post to Pakistan’s Express Tribune, and was lauded by speakers and attendees as “groundbreaking.”

This year, 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 and minority narratives already taking form?