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Teenage Suicide

Terry Williams + Ramon N. Prats

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

This isn’t your average book club. Beginning with this special two-part program and opening reception, the Tibetan Book of the Dead Book Club will draw comparisons between the ancient text and modern-day perspectives on mortality.

Break open the Tibetan Book of the Dead with Buddhist scholar Ramon Prats and professor Terry Williams to take on a goliath of a topic: teenage suicide. Committing suicide while in a state of mental distress has serious karmic implications in Buddhist practice and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for fifteen- to twenty-four-year-olds in the United States. Terry Williams, author of the book Teenage Suicide Notes, evaluates the states of mind of the young people in rural and urban contexts and across lines of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation who have committed suicide or contemplated doing harm to themselves. Can Tibetan Buddhist traditions offer a helpful perspective?

About the Speakers

Terry Williams is a professor of sociology at the New School. He is the author of Teenage Suicide Notes: An Ethnography of Self-Harm (2017), The Con Men: Hustling in New York City (Columbia, 2015); Harlem Supers: The Social Life of a Community in Transition (2015); Crackhouse: Notes from the End of the Line (1993); and The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring (1989); and is the founder and director of the Harlem Writers Crew Project, which offers a multimedia approach to urban education for center city and rural youths.

Ramon N. Prats was the first person to translate The Tibetan Book of the Dead into Spanish. He holds a doctoral degree in Tibetan Studies from the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples (Italy), where he was associate professor of Tibetan language and literature from 1980 to 1995. He was subsequently appointed professor of Buddhist studies at the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona (Spain). From 2006 to 2009 he was Senior Curator at the Rubin Museum of Art, where he organized an exhibition on the Bardo Thodrol, among others. Ramon Prats has more than sixty publications to his credit.

Standard Program Admission: $25

Standard Program Admission (Members): $22.50

Series All-Access Pass: $165

Series All-Access Pass (Members): $132