2006 – 2007 Readings and Talks

James Scully and Lisa Robertson

Social Practice

October 5, 2006

Seminar 5:30 PM | ICC 462
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium


— James Scully

There are no men, no women,
there is human

Without irony,
because that’s what left to wish for

Making love is more
than poor stick buried in a hole

Finger-tips dance over buttocks and breast
as ants through the fresh-turned earth

So thoroughly into life
we need not describe it anymore

Read more about James Scully


— Lisa Robertson

I have tried to say
that, although Love is not judgement
analysis too is a style
of affect
since the scale that rends me vulnerable
has cut, from abundance, doubt
(not that identity shunts
civic ratio or consequence) Sure —
I would prefer to respond to only
the established charms (and forget inconvenience)
but her hair was also a kind of honey
or instrument.

All that is beautiful, from which I choose
even artifice, which I hold above nature
won’t salve these stuttered accoutrements

Read more about Lisa Robertson

Brenda Hillman and Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Gender on the Lyric Edge

October 19, 2006

Seminar 5:30 PM | ICC 462
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium

Wood’s Edge

— Brenda Hillman

Infinity lifted:
a gasp of emeralds.

I thought I felt
the tall night trees
between them,

no exactitude,
a wait not even
known yet.

I held my violet up;
no smell.
It made a signal squeak
inside, bats,

lisps of pride;

ah, their little things,
their breath: lungs of a painting,

they swept me
in four ways, their square
plans, as I have made
a good square saying,

you I
you not-I
not-you I
not-you not-I,

ritual of hope
whose weight
has not been measured—

Read more about Brenda Hillman

From Audience

— Mei-mei Berssenbrugge


People think, at the theatre, an audience is tricked into believing it’s looking at life.

The film image is so large, it goes straight into your head.

There’s no room to be aware of or interested in people around you.

Girls and cool devices draw audience, but unraveling the life of a real human brings the

I wrote before production began, “I want to include all of myself, a heartbroken person
who hasn’t worked for years, who’s simply not dead.”

Many fans feel robbed and ask, “What kind of show’s about one person’s unresolved


There’s sympathy for suffering, also artificiality.

Having limbs blown off is some person’s reality, not mine.

I didn’t want to use sympathy for others as a way through my problems.

There’s a gap between an audience and particulars, but you can be satisfied by
particulars, on several levels: social commentary, sleazy fantasy.

Where my film runs into another’s real life conditions seem problematic, but they don’t
link with me.

The linking is the flow of images, thwarting a fan’s transference.

If you have empathy to place yourself in my real situation of face-to-face intensity, then
there would be no mirror, not as here.

Read more about Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Jerome McGann, Joanna Drucker, and Caroline Bergvall

The Poetic Book: Medieval, Modern, Postmodern

November 16, 2006

Seminar 4:00 PM | ICC 462
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium

Introduction To Texts Of Many Dimensions

— Jerome McGann

Although “text” has been a “Keyword” in clerical and even popular discourse for more than fifty years, it did not find a place in Raymond Williams’ important (1976) book Keywords. This strange omission may perhaps be explained by the word’s cultural ubiquity and power. In that lexicon of modernity Williams called the “Vocabulary of Culture and Society”, “text” has been the “one word to rule them all.” Indeed, the word “text” became so shape-shifting and meaning-malleable that we should probably label it with Tolkein’s full rubrication: “text” has been, and still is, the “one word to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.” Continue reading “Introduction To Texts Of Many Dimensions.”

Read more about Jerome McGann

Delete Culture

— Johanna Drucker 

Bit screens self-destruct in an orgy of surplus value, making their way upstream to breed in the dark crevice of a used environment. Hard metal slides against cold flesh in a primordial ritual of renewal. Blood on the back of the mousepad, sputum racing up the spine of the program code. In a few moments it was over, and the limp digitalia swung in the virtual breeze, hopelessly hoping for a breath of damp air to renew their viral mechanisms. The will of industry a total vision of expansion and containment, the flow-chart model of use and development, as poignant as a primitive schematic for approximating the location of the organs in the body cavity. No one goes there anymore.

Read more about Johanna Drucker

From About Face(Ongoing)

— Caroline Bergvall

taking turns with violence a face is first removed then applied
taking turns with violence a face is first removed and all faces standing in
t zoo efinitely but beak as t it defacement pronounces the triumph of mass
if think of thee non anon aggrave
excess of face made superstitious
soon a fface replaces another
word arf faux shoo ehm haunting face makes the I mean draw thing in
and face will split
and face keeps
hood enied kept faceless
hood enied burdened with face
Look at the them
them them
not not
story ed nearly

Read more about Caroline Bergvall

Russell Banks and Edwidge Danticat

Memories of Affliction

April 10, 2007

Seminar 5:30 PM | ICC 462
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium

Read more about Edwidge Danticat