34.1 Thalia Ostendorf

Interview | Literary Courage as a Roadmap to Activism: A Conversation with Kathy Kelly

Closing our main section, Thalia Ostendorf and American pacifist
and peace activist Kathy Kelly discuss the experiences and literature
that shaped Kelly’s views as an activist in “Literary Courage as a
Roadmap to Activism.” They address her experiences in Afghanistan
and Iraq and the books that inspired Kelly to move to action. For her,
literary accounts informed the way she reflected on her role as activist: “would you act or not act? Would you go along, or would you resist? And if you would resist, how far would you carry that resistance?” (78). Central to their conversation is the question of how narratives can help shape our conceptions of courage and fear and how we might question and overcome fear in favor of action.