*Please note: This event is rescheduled from an earlier publicized date. 

Join MFA Mapmaker Michael Hahn '23 (Fiction) in a virtual conversation with novelist Chang-rae Lee on the subject of "Mooded Texts: Affect and Craft." Hahn wrote his critical essay for the Pacific MFA on Lee's work, with this epigraph from My Year Abroad:

"This was a different kind of grip, a force that seemed to come from Val but also from beyond her, superconducting through her flesh, directly and only to me, to say that there was no place else that we belonged."

Unlike emotion, affect registers in the subconscious, preceding thought and subjective interpretation. Whether capturing inexpressible mood or the accretion of unresolved feelings, affect implicates everyone, but especially those who are liminal and marginalized, upon whom systemic forces often work in subterfuge. In literature, affect, embodied through form and language, gives shape to significant ways-of-being that defy category and catharsis. But how do writers craft such experiences for their characters? For readers? Can the affective experience of a text exist apart from the author's subjective interpretation? Join Michael and Chang-rae as they discuss these questions, along with many others on April 11!

Chang-rae Lee is the author of six novels: Native Speaker (1995), A Gesture Life (1999), Aloft (2004), The Surrendered (2010), which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, On Such a Full Sea (2014), which was a Finalist for the NBCC and won the Heartland Fiction Prize, and his most recent novel, My Year Abroad (2021). His works have won numerous awards and citations, including the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Literary Award, the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2021, he was recognized for lifetime achievement in the Novel with an Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as elected as a Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

The Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship is named after Mapmaker, an early collection of his poems. Dawes has been a leader in the program’s mission to diversify the writers we serve and create equity. In helping us name the scholarship, he said, “The title characterizes what I think of myself as both a writer and as an advocate for the work of others and as someone who tries to open new territories for those who have not had access.”

First offered in January 2018, this scholarship is awarded to exceptional students of color.

Contact Us

Scott Korb (he/him/his) | Director, MFA in Writing
Pacific University | 530 NW 12th Avenue | Portland, OR 97209
718-813-6428 | smkorb@pacificu.edu | Ig | scottkorb.com