In conversation with Jack Miles, Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies, U.C. Irvine
What happens when formerly estranged peoples look at their entwined history together? After attending a Zen Peacemaker retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2000, Steinman embarked on a decade-long exploration—into her own family’s history in a small Polish town—as well as an immersion in the exhilarating and discomforting, sometimes surreal, yet ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in today’s democratic Poland.
Louise Steinman is curator of the award-winning ALOUD series and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC. She is the author of three books: The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War; The Knowing Body: The Artist as Storyteller in Contemporary Performance; and The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation. She was a recent fellow at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, FL. Her work appears, most recently, in The Los Angeles Review of Books, and on her Crooked Mirror blog.
Jack Miles is Senior Fellow for Religious Affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy and Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies, University of California, Irvine. A MacArthur Fellow (2003-2007), Miles won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for God: A Biography, which has since been translated into sixteen languages. He is currently general editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of World Religions.