Sarah Arkebauer

English / Comparative Literature 795

Unsettling the Word: Attack of the Difficult Syllabus (The Additional Poetics of Estrangement, Disturbance, Expropriation, Abnormality, and the Pataque(e)rical)

Not limited to Mondays 6-8:50 in KWH




Class List

info/sub page

list archive

posts to


The first thing to do it to subscribe to the list. With your email and password, you will have access to the list web archive. Each seminar participant should send out a response to the week's reading. These responses are due by Sunday morning. Posts are meant to serve as informal, journal-like, commentary on what interests/engages/concerns/elates/disturbs you in the reading and as a way to continue the discussions form the seminar sessions. (You can alternately think of it simply as a way to share your notes with the rest of us: gloss, critique, etc. In the context of this seminar, glosses and summaries are very useful.)

Each participant should plan to engage with the material in ways not limited to class discussion, taking the materials out of the syllabus and class discussions in order to apply them to new situations. Conversely, materials inspired by or tangentially related to class discussions should also be included (by commentary, intervention, or simply raising questions for the group). There need be no uniformity in the style or form of the listserv posts or responses.



1. Jan. 24: Introduction



Map of Colombia:

Required Reading:

Translation from Venuti onward



The extraordinary is never more than an extension of the ordinary.

I welcome the additional of specific reports on poets and poetic practice that participants want to present to the seminar, including providing additional reading, so for responses, please consider this (either in terms of a poet listed in the syllabus, in this note, from the North of Invention festival or KWH visitor, or otherwise/otherhow.




2. Jan. 31: Pataphysics

Gilles Deleuze Essays Critical and Clinical

K. Silem Mohammed's write up of Dworkin's Parse

Gershon Legman

George Shrinks



3. Feb. 7 Michael Davidson lecture and seminar visit.

6pm lecture at Kelly Writers House Art Cafe: 'Pregnant Men: Modernism, Disability, and Biofuturity in Djuna Barnes'

Required Reading:


Alice Wingwall

Watch Tod Browning's film Freaks

Shelley Tremaine: Backlash Against the ADA


Vocabulary: Civitas Dei



4/5 Feb. 14 and 21: Philosophical Investigations: Conditions Ordinary and Extraordinary: Wittgenstein and the Pataque(e)rical

Required Reading:

J.L. Austin How To Do Things With Words

Wittgenstein, Zettel

Wittgenstein (Jarman Film)

Duchamp's "Network of Stoppages" at MoMA

Otto Weininger

Wikipedia Category on Women Translators


Rupert Read "Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations as a War Book"

Klagge, Wittgenstein in Exile


Vocabulary: Aporia, Sclerotic



6. Feb. 28: Al Filreis seminar visit: Teaching Modernist & Contemporary Poetry

Required Reading:

The Kelly Writers House website

High School AP Lit syllabus

Charles Bernstein as "untheorized" at Harriet

Stephen Mithen, The Singing Neanderthals

Lyotard: The Postmodern Condition

Eloisa Cartonera project






March 7 Spring Break No Class

Robert Longo: Men in Cities

Crewdson, "Ophelia"



7. March 14 Johanna Drucker seminar visit

co-sponsored by EDIT


Holbrook Jackson, bibliophile

Karl Kraus and Die Fackel

Paul Duguid on Tristram Shandy on GoogleBooks

Anna Arnar The Book as Instrument



8. March 21 Hannah Weiner

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01Required Reading:

International Code of Signals

The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan

Information on Schizophrenia from the National Institute of Health

Walter Benjamin "On Some Motifs in Baudelaire"






Persons of Interest:

Simone Weil

Leonard Peltier

Robert Grenier

Rhys Chatham


Additional Reading:

How to Cook Taffy

The Kitchen

Oliver Sacks on the power of Music and the Brain



9. 10. March 28 & April 4 Jerome McGann & Patacriticism

co-sponsored by EDIT

McGann lecture April 4 6pm in Arts Cafe: 'Philology in a New Key: Poe, Decentered Culture, and Critical Method'

followed by seminar visit

"Edgar Allen Poe was 3/5 genius and 2/5 sheer fudge"--James Russell Lowell

March 28:

Pierre Joris, Extracts from The Meridian in Jacket

Don't forget to donate to Litmus for How Phenomena Begin to Unfold

Sandra Doller and 1913 Press


April 4:

Poe, The Philosophy of Composition

Ojibwe digital archive

Ben Friedlander's Simulcast

Tom Stoppard: Arcadia and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Adorno's Minima Moralia

Ann Batten Cristall at Orlando



11. April 11 Leslie Scalapino's Essays:

Gurlesque anthology

Summa contra Gentiles

Scalapino's disagreement with Perloff, Silliman

Juliana Spahr "Numbers Trouble"

Scalapino: The Dihedrons Gazelle Dihedrals Zoom (cf. Finnegans Wake)



12. April 18: Seminar Participants Present Plans for Final Projects, Ongoing Research, etc.(Note we need to do this a bit early because final class will be Perloff lecture and discussion.)


In the interest of our discussions about paratexts and hypertexts, and the focus on constellations created around ideas, collect the in-class references and outside materials inspired by the weekly readings and discussions. Envision this as a way of engaging with the material that floats around the ether of our class-sanctioned discussions and readings.


13. April 25 Marjorie Perloff (final class)

Tues., April 26 at 3: meeting with Perloff at KWH

Required reading:

Detective story, idea of

Arthur Rimbaud

Catalogue of the Annual Exhibition, Society of Independent Artists, New York, 1917 (note this link has an option for downloadable pdf)

Reread everything we've read for this class so far