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Exploring human rights in fiction at Five College Jackie Pritzen lecture

April 3, 4:30 p.m. in the Commonwealth Honors College’s Events Hall East at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Professor of English Stephen Clingman has spent much of his career at the intersection of literature and human rights. In the upcoming Five College Jackie Pritzen Lecture, he will discuss that intersection, and how human rights enter into the core of literary investigation.

The lecture, “Rights, Routes, and Refugees: The Fiction of Caryl Phillips,” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. on April 3 in the Commonwealth Honors College’s Events Hall East at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It is free and open to the public. Clingman will probe key questions about human rights through the lens of Caryl Phillips’s writing.

Phillips is an award-winning author of 10 works of fiction, as well as essays, plays and screenplays. His family migrated to England from the West Indies when he was an infant and his writing explores the ordeals of refugees and marginalized figures in different settings.

A professor at UMass since 1989, Clingman has published widely on Nadine Gordimer and other South African writers, as well as on transnational fiction. He has held a number of fellowships internationally and his biography of Bram Fischer, the South African political figure and lawyer, won the Alan Paton Award, South Africa’s highest prize for nonfiction.

Clingman received his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a doctorate from the University of Oxford. In 2012, he was selected as a Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at UMass and awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed on faculty members by the university.

The annual Five College Jackie Pritzen Lecture is named for longtime consortium staff member Jackie M. Pritzen, who worked with many different faculty groups during her 25 years with the consortium. The lectures were initiated in tribute to the central role that faculty play in furthering cooperation among the five institutions, and to celebrate a distinguished faculty member whose scholarship, teaching and service continue that work.