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Advancing Feminist Poetics and Activism, September 24 - 25, 2009

Presented by the Belladonna Reading Series

Thursday, September 24, 2009

4:00PM-5:00PM
Opening Plenary I: Why You Talk Like That? Between Orature and Literature
Chair: Tonya Foster
Panelists: Meta DuEwa Jones, John Keene, Julie Patton, Evie Shockley
Location: English Department Lounge

Description: One aspect of “black aesthetics” involves two ostensibly dissonant strands of poetics the oral and the literary (which may include the visual). Their challenging of visual and oral groundings of identity markers translates Black female iconography from its historical depiction within a “So Black and Blues” matrix into a “So Black and Beautiful”. One aspect of “black aesthetics” isn’t merely the transcription of the oral onto the page but an attempt to transfigure the page in such a way that it creates/suggests an alternate space which demands that the literary engage the oral, re-inscribes the literary nature of the oral and rejects the clearly articulated boundary between the two, and, in so doing, suggests a different sense of time: look at Mackey and Brathwaite’s A History of the Voice.

part one (55:50): MP3

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part two (25:12) MP3

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5:00PM-6:00PM
Opening Plenary II: Wedge & Suture: Critical Language Practices & the Imperialist Event
Chair: Laura Elrick
Panelists: Ammiel Alcalay, Cathy Park Hong, Anne Waldman, Rachel Zolf
Location: English Department Lounge

Description: On the “here and now” continuum, on the radically material cusp that articulates past and future, what methods of political thought can poetry uniquely perform? How can poetry (as radical anathema to imperialist language use, and as intellectual hope) resist the dead-end traps of reification and teleological thinking? Our discussion will center on the complexities and difficulties (and therefore importance) of radical language practices within our unevenly-developed but globalized relations.

complete recording (1:06:55): MP3

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7:30PM-9:00PM
Opening Keynote Performance and Discussion
Kathleen Fraser, Erica Hunt, & Eileen Myles

Kathleen Fraser and Erica Hunt (54:44): MP3

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Eileen Myles (20:36): MP3

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complete discussion (26:53): MP3

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Friday, September 25, 2009

10:00AM-11:45AM — SESSION I

Room 1 [Panel 1]: Is Ground as to Figure as Ambience is to Body? Ec(h)opoetics of the Disfigured Landscape
Chair: Jennifer Scappettone
Panelists: Marcella Durand, Brenda Iijima, Linda Sormin, Kathy Westwater, Rita Wong

Description: Ranging across writing, visual arts, dance, installation, and epistolary exchange of ephemera, this discussion will sound reciprocal interference between the environment and marked (raced/gendered/polluted) corporeality in the face of landscape’s harm—mediation—digitization—withdrawal. Presentations will address a poetics of systemic crisis, stalking solutions, obliging recognition of ambient relations of authority and compromise as compass through a stupefying enormity of damage: Marcella Durand on race and ecological disaster; Brenda Iijima on Agnes Denes’s reclamation art; Kathy Westwater on bodily organization within transmogrifying ‘nature’; Rita Wong and Linda Sormin on ongoing toxicities.





Room 2 [Panel 2]: Lacrimae of the Medusa; or, Cixous (33 years later) and Cruci-Fictions: Let’s Talk about Sex (Again)
Chair: Laura Jaramillo
Panelists: Dodie Bellamy, Kass Fleisher, Bhanu Kapil, Laura Mullen

Description: This panel will explore how womens' experimental writing re-inscribes female subjectivity and desire, how we ride the boundaries, borders, inter-species-genre crossings, body spaces through Cixous' Laugh of the Medusa.

complete recording (1:17:43): MP3

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Room 3 [Panel 3]: Textual Migrations: Language, Media, Space
Chair: Corey Frost
Panelists: Caroline Bergvall, Latasha N. Nevada Diggs, Majena Mafe, Mendi Lewis Obadike, Kaia Sand

Description: As writers and readers, we are all affected by the multimedia functioning of communication technologies, their presence it our daily activities. As the concept of literacy changes, our understanding of poetics and our perceptions of identity also change. What does the specific role of language and of writing become? Should we envisage tomorrow's literature as a relay of processes, a combination of forms, of platforms, of environments, of media as well as discourses? What is the textual specifically in charge of recording, transmitting, transmediating? This panel invites 4 writers to present some of the methods and questions they explore when working with specific media and performative environments.





Room 4 [Panel 4]: Conceptual Writings
Chair: Mónica de la Torrev Panelists: Nada Gordon, Vanessa Place, Sina Queyras, Kim Rosenfield, Christine Wertheim

Description: Conceptual writing, still under construction as a 21st century literary form, includes various kinds of work and techniques, such as appropriation, documentation, constraint, process, performance, polyvocality, collapsing search engines and the baroque. Panelists Mónica de la Torre, Nada Gordon, Sina Queyras, Kim Rosenfield, Christine Wertheim, and Vanessa Place will present/perform/comment on critical/creative work on conceptualism.





Room 5 [Panel 5]: 8 Minute Monographs, Part 1
Chair: Susan Briante

Panelists: David Buuck, CAConrad, Tom Orange, Rodrigo Toscano, Simone White
Description: David Buuck on “Bioperversity: on the gendered animal-body”; CAConrad will give a talk entitled “A Poetry of No Apologies” about Hilde Domin and Charlotte Delbo; Tom Orange will present “Recovering our Elders: The Case of Carole Korzeniowsky”; Rodrigo Toscano “On Duriel Harris”; and Simone White on Simone de Beauvoir’s memoirs of a dutiful daughter, "my accomplice, my subject, my creature: hypermasculinity effects".





Room 6 [Panel 6]: The Event in the Image: Poetry and Cinema
Curated by: Angela Joosse
Films and poetry by: Peggy Ahwesh, Lise Beaudry, Abigail Child, Margaret Christakos, Moyra Davey, Kelly Egan, Laura Elrick, Su Friedrich, Amy Greenfield, Shana MacDonald, Bridget Meeds, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, Selene Savarie, Joel Schlemowitz, Nathalie Stephens, Souvankham Thammavongsa,Gariné Torossian, Cat Tyc

Description: This program of recent experimental film and video examines the productive impact to be found at the intersection of feminism, poetry, and the moving image. Sharing common concerns with rhythm, duration, and the slippage and condensation of meaning, experimental cinema and poetry have had rich relations since cinema's inception. Yet the avant-garde edge of these art forms does not rest with medium-specific concerns, but rather with the capacity to install the audience in a situation that enables a potent shift in one's very perceptions of embodied, social, geographical, gendered, political, and cultural locatedness in the world. Through poetic approaches to cinema and cinematic approaches to poetry, this program explores varying possibilities of the image as an event situation.





12:45PM-2:30PM SESSION II

Room 1 [Panel 7]: What Counts: Everyday Practices and Exceptional Practices in the Life of the Mind and in the Street
Chair: Jen Hofer
Panelists: Pamela Booker, Marilou Esguerra, Jill Magi, Metta Sama

Description: The politics of the everyday entails inventing exceptions to the rules in a range of contexts, from our bedrooms, kitchens, studies and gardens to our jobs, gathering spaces, and the streets of the cities where we live. The participants in this panel are all on the faculty at Goddard College, where a radical social justice pedagogy encompassing Thoughtful Action is a foundation of our teaching, learning and artistic practices. How do small-scale autonomous publishing, politically-inflected performance, objects and texts built to be functional as well as thought-provoking, public instances of poetic interaction and other externally-directed creative acts constitute Thoughtful Action—that is, how do we practice what we teach, and teach what we practice?





Room 2 [Panel 8]: Body as Discourse
Chair: Kate Eichhorn
Panelists: Joan Retallack, Trish Salah, Laura Smith, Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël), Ronaldo V. Wilson

Description: This panel explores questions of the body, referentiality, remapping bodies and borders, intertextuality, narrativity, aesthetics, and the challenges of de-essentialization as we scrutinize “female,” “queer,” “raced” and “othered” bodies.

complete recording (44:16): MP3

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Room 3 [Panel 9]: Multilingual Poetics, Feminist Implications
Chair: Sarah Dowling
Panelists: Julia Bloch, Angela Carr, Zhang Er, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Janet Neigh

Description: This panel will explore the ways women poets use multilingualism to engage in critiques of dominant language practices, and the ways in which such poetics evoke diverse publics and invite new possibilities for building community.





Room 4 [Panel 10]: Disrupting the Page: Hybridity and Asian American Poetics
Chair: Tamiko Beyer
Panelists: Cythia Arrieu-King, Ching-In Chen, Sarah Gambito, Sohan Patel, Margaret Rhee

Description: This roundtable discussion by a group of emerging APIA women poets/critics/performers will open up discussion about how hybridities in current APIA poetry resist the notion of a homogenous feminist and APIA poetry and community. Speakers will address a range of contemporary formal and social concerns: mapping, the cyber avatar, queer, experimental and lyric poetry, “deterriorialized” writing, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's video poems, traditional Japanese zuihitsu. The goal is to provide a collaborative space in which to investigate the avant-garde poetic strategies of APIA women who write for social justice and against inequalities.





Room 5 [Panel 11]: 8 Minute Monographs, Part II: Inhabiting the Forms of An/Other
Chair: Emily Beall
Panelists: Louis Bury, Jeanne Heuving, Michelle Naka Pierce, Tim Peterson, Chris Tysh

Description: Each monographer will take up questions of form, form’s body, and how form can generate (instead of delimit) substantive, complex, productively unstable embodiments and identities. Tracing possibilities such as the “libidinized open field,” Oulipian exercises in style, Deleuzian sheets of time, the protean and the nomadic, panelists might themselves swerve importantly from the ‘monadic’ form of the monograph: Michelle Naka Pierce, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Migratory Identities in Bhanu Kapil’s Incubation: A Space for Monsters” / Jeanne Heuving, “What's Love Got To Do With It?” / Tim Peterson, “Protean Bodies, Volatile Selves: The Transgender Poetics of Claude Cahun and kari edwards” / Chris Tysh, “Sheets of Time in Poetic Practice” / Louis Bury, “Embodied Constraints.”





Room 6 [Panel 12]: The Event in the Image: Poetry and Cinema
Curated by: Angela Joosse
Films and poetry by: Peggy Ahwesh, Lise Beaudry, Abigail Child, Margaret Christakos, Moyra Davey, Kelly Egan, Laura Elrick, Su Friedrich, Amy Greenfield, Shana MacDonald, Bridget Meeds, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, Selene Savarie, Joel Schlemowitz, Nathalie Stephens, Souvankham Thammavongsa,Gariné Torossian, Cat Tyc

Description: This program of recent experimental film and video examines the productive impact to be found at the intersection of feminism, poetry, and the moving image. Sharing common concerns with rhythm, duration, and the slippage and condensation of meaning, experimental cinema and poetry have had rich relations since cinema's inception. Yet the avant-garde edge of these art forms does not rest with medium-specific concerns, but rather with the capacity to install the audience in a situation that enables a potent shift in one's very perceptions of embodied, social, geographical, gendered, political, and cultural locatedness in the world. Through poetic approaches to cinema and cinematic approaches to poetry, this program explores varying possibilities of the image as an event situation.





2:30PM-4:00PM SESSION III

Room 1 [Panel 13]: Writing from the Margins
Chair: erica kaufman
Panelists: Jennifer Russo, Tyler Schmidt, Jane Sprague

Description: This panel will explore the feminist politics and poetic experimentation of poets from earlier generations in order to better understand (and complicate) the activism and avant-garde aesthetics of our current moment. Collectively our papers aim to investigate the work of marginal, forgotten, erased, absent or orphan/overlooked poets and writers whose poetics embody a kind of “activism,” though our panel also seeks to trouble or assert ideas of activist poetics. In particular, our critical analysis will highlight the way these poets both engage and enact political critique through formal innovation; avant-garde writing strategies; polyvocal texts; and/or hybrid forms and genres.





Room 2 [Panel 14]: Feminist Utopias
Chair: Margaret Carson
Panelists: Justin Parks, Divya Victor, danielle vogel, Steve Zultanski

Description: This panel will be exploring the possibility of a Utopian promise in contemporary poetry. We will be looking at the work of Renee Gladman, Lisa Robertson, Melissa Buzzeo, and Jewel in an effort to explore these authors' formal and political relationships to urban space, and to their readers. We don’t assume these writers share a vision, but rather that their poetics and poetry are in some ways at odds — suggesting that any recognizable Utopian impulse is not a fully-realized imaginative portrait of a better world, but a fractured and incomplete projection of a time yet to come.





Room 3 [Panel 15]: Exile and Language
Chair: Anna Moschovakis
Panelists: Jennifer Firestone, Dana Greene, Dulcinea Lara, Jill Magi, Evelyn Reilly

Description: What are the challenges facing a writer who for one reason or another finds herself “exiled” from the generative artistic and cultural communities that sustain much of a writer’s activities? This panel brings together the diverse concerns of writers thinking from spaces of remove: motherhood amidst the event-heavy poetry community; activist pedagogy in small-town America; experimental poetics in workers’ education; and a genealogy and performance of Vulcan Poetics.





Room 4 [Panel 16]: Visuality and the Image: A Reading and Discussion with Ann Lauterbach, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Laura Hinton
Chair: Laura Hinton
Panelists: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Ann Lauterbach

Description: This session takes the form of readings by and conversation with Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Ann Lauterbach, and Laura Hinton. Framed as a performative inquiry into women’s particular use of the image, both in feminist and activist contexts, we'll consider the stakes in image-making for a gender that Mary Ann Doane has suggested bears a socialized “close proximity” to the image itself.





Room 5 [Panel 17]: Speed Youth Mourning
Chair: Rachel Levitsky
Panelists: Emily Abendroth, Tonya Foster, Kythe Heller, Kristin Prevallet, Michelle Taransky, Jennifer Scappettone

Description: The presenters, mixing performance, conversation and reading, will consider how the expansion of the prison, disaster capitalism, and the vertigo of speed culture implode the ambit of community. Can we as writers and actors-in-concert re-imagine the contours and relieved duration of a 'commons' in which we dwell despite our increased mobility, that is sustainable within our current spatiotemporal condition? Are there new opportunities for meaning, mutual succor, and collective action across identity/location/generation in these “liquid times”?

complete recording (16:31): MP3

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Room 6 [Panel 18]: Performing a Poetics of Motherhood
Chair: Leah Souffrant
Panelists: Lee Ann Brown, Laynie Browne, Christine Hume, Hoa Nguyen

Description: Poets Hoa Nguyen, Christine Hume, Laynie Browne, Lee Ann Brown, and Leah Souffrant will present their work as performance, followed by a round-table discussion of the work and the significance of the intersection of motherhood, performance, and poetics. Christine Hume will perform “Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense”, an essay-poem with a soundtrack. Laynie Browne reads from The Desires of Letters, a long prose-poetry work. Lee Ann Brown will perform new and signature poetic works relating to the subject of motherhood. Hoa Nguyen will read new works and from Hecate Loche. Leah Souffrant will read from “Essay for Elsa”, a series accompanied by visual projections.





4:00PM-4:20PM
An interactive and performative healing ritual with Kythe Heller.

4:30PM-6:30PM
Closing Plenary: The Ongoing Event: An Open Discussion
Moderators: Rachel Levitsky, erica kaufman, Gail Scott v

Description: Do we and how do we, continue the work we have done here? An open discussion tightly moderated.





6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Performance & Collaboration
Performers: Carla Harryman, The Institute for Domestic Research (Catriona Strang, Christine Stewart & Jacqueline Leggat), Sally Silvers, Lila Zemborain, Torino Collective






Miscellaneous Recordings from ADFEMPO

first part with Sally Silvers and dancers, music by Marina Rosenfeld (electronics, voice and turntable), till 4'18"; second part mutli-voice piece with Carla Harryman and Rodrigo Toscano

complete audio recording (21:27): MP3

& video:

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These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the authors. © 2010 The Respective Authors. Used with the permission of The Respective Authors. Distributed by PennSound.