- This event has passed.
The Roots of Encounter
30th October: 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm GMT
Meeting Multiculturalism in Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth”
In a new Future of the Humanities Project event series—Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference—we embrace the other at a time when we have heard much about the ways in which national, religious, and cultural lines divide us as humans. In this series, we will invite leading scholars across disciplines to explore themes of cultural encounters both in classic literary works and in contemporary cultural debates.
In 2000, Zadie Smith published her debut novel White Teeth, which was immediately met with critical acclaim. It has since sold more than two million copies and was adapted into a four-part television drama in 2002. Set predominantly between the mid-1970s to late 1990s within a burgeoning, multicultural London, White Teeth narrates the complex intergenerational histories of three families, exploring issues of immigration, integration, belonging, and cultural encounter. Though not naïve in its optimism, White Teeth champions the richness of multiculturalism. Drawing the novel into dialogue with Pope Francis’ concept of a “culture of encounter,” Anna Blackman’s talk will examine how societal contexts have changed since the novel was first published, as well as the lessons White Teeth still has to offer.
This event is sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. It is part of the year-long series, Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference.
Online. Free and open to all. Registration is required.
Anna Blackman is a lecturer in Catholic religious education at the University of Glasgow. Her primary areas of expertise are Catholic social thought and practice, particularly grassroots organizing and the practice of nonviolence. Blackman also serves on the Columban’s Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee and co-chairs a roundtable on nonviolence and just peace sponsored by Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. In summer 2023, she co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Catholic Social Thought on nonviolence and just peace in Catholic social thought and practice.
Michael Scott, Ph.D. (moderator), is senior dean, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college advisor for postgraduate students, and a member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior advisor to the president of Georgetown University. Scott previously served as the pro-vice-chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, where he is professor emeritus.
Las Casas Institute with Georgetown University