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Rushdie to Address Human Rights in Lecture at Emory

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Salman Rushdie will deliver a public lecture, "The Liberty Instinct," on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. in Glenn Memorial Auditorium. Emory Photo/Video.

Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie returns to Emory University during February as University Distinguished Professor for a public lecture on human rights and a number of events and classes.

Tickets are now available for Rushdie's public lecture, "The Liberty Instinct," presented by the Emory College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. in Glenn Memorial Auditorium.

Tickets are free, and can be ordered online. For more information, visit

“Human beings possess a natural ‘instinct’ for freedom. We prefer liberty to ‘unfreedom’ and that instinct is related to self-consciousness — to knowledge of ourselves as autonomous beings in the world,” Rushdie notes in a description of the lecture. 

“Out of this ‘liberty instinct’ comes the idea of human rights. These rights involve neither liberal nor Western fictions but rather connect to our deepest needs as human beings,” he adds.

Rushdie also will join a public panel discussion on "Disability Rights as Human Rights" on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. in White Hall, room 207. Hosted by Emory’s Disability Studies Initiative, the panel will be a public conversation with Rushdie, visiting philosopher Eva Kittay from Stony Brook University, and Emory English professors Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Benjamin Reiss.

Additionally, Rushdie will visit a variety of classes to discuss topics ranging from caste and contemporary India, to his own works such as "The Moor's Last Sigh," novels that have influenced him, as well as "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Wizard of Oz" book and film, and Gandhi.

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