Zia Haider Rahman delivers 2018 Reckford Lecture in European Studies


February 22, 2018 | M. Clay

A full house at Hyde Hall greeted Zia Haider Rahman, author of the highly acclaimed novel In the Light of What We Know, as he delivered the 24th Annual Mary Stevens Reckford Memorial Lecture in European Studies. The lecture, entitled “Brexit: The Reckoning” focused on how the vote to exit the European Union nearly two years ago has elucidated the tensions in Great Britain.

The free lecture was held on Thursday, Feb. 22. at 7 p.m.

Rahman began by warning attendees that the lecture would contain no predictions, calling such an attempt a “fool’s errand.”

“If CNN could not make predictions it would simply disappear,” said Rahman.

IAH Director Mark Katz welcomed the audience, especially members of the Reckford family. Associate Director Jennifer Ho introduced Rahman, citing from his book about Bangladeshi mathematicians in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

“American liberal elites do not map to British liberal elites,” said Rahman. “They are actually more different than they think they are.”

Zia Haider Rahman was born in rural Bangladesh, raised in London, and educated in England, Germany, and the United States. He is a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University; a Fellow at New America, Washington, D.C.; a Senior Fellow at the Kreisky Forum für Internationalen Dialog, Vienna; and has been appointed a 2018 Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. He is a Visiting Professor in the low residency MFA program in Fiction and Non-Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and elsewhere, and he is a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s A Point of View. His first novel, In The Light of What We know, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2014 to international critical acclaim and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Britain’s oldest literary award.


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