How can we make sense of the tragedy in Syria? Wendy Pearlman has conducted open-ended interviews with more than 300 displaced Syrians across the Middle East and Europe from 2012 to 2017. She has brought together these personal stories in the acclaimed new book, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins 2017). In this talk, Pearlman will share a selection of voices from the book, along with her own commentary and analysis, to explain the origins and evolution of the Syrian conflict, as well as what it has been like for the ordinary people who have lived its unfolding. Her talk will paint a portrait of silence and intimidation under an oppressive authoritarian regime before 2011, expresses the euphoric experience of participating in protest against that regime, conveys the resilience of communities enduring unspeakable violence thereafter, and offers a window into the challenge of becoming and being a refugee. This talk will offer a humanistic interpretation of the current conflict in Syria and how it has transformed those who have experienced it.
Wendy Pearlman is the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, where she specializes in the comparative politics of the Middle East. She is the author of three books, We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins 2017), Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003), as well as dozens of essays, academic articles, or book chapters. Pearlman holds a BA from Brown University, an MA from Georgetown, and a PhD from Harvard. She speaks Arabic and has studied or conducted research in Spain, Germany, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Copies of We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled will be available for purchase.