From Flashpoint to Fatigue: The Life Cycle of a Narrative June 9, 2018
In the current political climate, literary communities have been crucial in defining the most difficult conversations of our lives — from mobilizing the "Me Too" movement to making sense of the Trump presidency. Writers are using their craft as political power to discuss — and create — social change, as demonstrated by viral stories like The New Yorker's "Cat Person" and books like Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury. In the span of two days, both stories sparked hundreds of think pieces that both challenged and reaffirmed the original works. In this panel, we will explore every stage of a piece, from conception to rapid responses from the public. What is the writer's responsibility to their readership, and how should we respond to our audiences' reactions? How do editors or curators choose what to publish and add to the conversation, and in what formats? What is the line between curator and gatekeeper? Is this think piece "life cycle" helping us move toward a greater collective understanding of these difficult conversations, or are these futile moves? Featuring Tomi Obaro (Buzzfeed), Natalie Patillo (Pacific Standard Magazine), and Kwame Opoku-Duku (Unbnd Collective). This panel will be moderated by Wendy Lu.