NORMAN — An Ethiopian writer and a Seattle-based photographer will headline a festival highlighting global women's issues this week at the University of Oklahoma.
OU's annual Puterbaugh Festival will feature literature and photography that deal with issues facing women worldwide, including access to education and human trafficking. The festival runs Tuesday through Friday in Norman.
The festival is hosted by World Literature Today, OU's international literature and culture magazine. This year's festival includes a keynote speech from Maaza Mengiste, an Ethiopian-born author who is now a creative writing lecturer at Princeton University.
Mengiste's first novel, “Beneath the Lion's Gaze,” deals with a family's struggles following Ethiopia's 1974 revolution. Mengiste will give her address at 10 a.m. Friday at the Nancy O'Brian Center for the Performing Arts at Norman North High School.
Later that day, photographer Phil Borges will discuss his work documenting indigenous cultures worldwide at a keynote address.
Borges' presentation is in conjunction with the opening of “Stirring the Fire,” an exhibition of portraits Borges made featuring women and girls from around the world. Borges' presentation will be at 6 p.m. Friday at OU's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
R.C. Davis-Undiano, executive director of World Literature Today and an OU professor of English, said the idea behind the festival is to promote discussion of international issues through the medium of literature.