The Literature Program at Bard is free from the barriers that are often set up between critical and creative engagement, between different national literatures, or between the study of language and the study of the range of intellectual, historical, and imaginative dimensions to which literature's changing forms persistently refer. Literary studies are vitally engaged with interdisciplinary programs and concentrations such as Experimental Humanities; Human Rights; Mind, Brain and Behavior; Middle Eastern Studies; and the Africana, Asian, Classical, Environmental and Urban, Gender and Sexuality, Latin American and Iberian, Medieval, and Victorian Studies Programs.
“Literature allows us—no, demands of us—the experience of ourselves as multidimensional persons. And in doing so, is far more necessary than it has ever been. As art it deals with the human consequences of the other disciplines: history, law, science, economics, labor studies, medicine. As narrative its form is the principal method by which knowledge is appropriated and translated.”
Professor Cole Heinowitz leads a class discussion. Photo by Scott Barrow
If language is among our most expressive media, our most thoughtful media, then its careful study can only enrich our communication with each other—present, past, and future. The study of literature is grounded in the study of words and syntax: how we make meaning in language and how language makes meaning in us. In studying literature, we not only learn to tolerate ambiguity of meaning but also find meaning in expression as much as in what is being expressed. The Literature Program embraces its central role in general education at Bard. Following from the Language and Thinking and First-Year Seminar experiences, Literature Program faculty emphasize the integral connection between writing and thinking. Students of literature acquire habits of mind as well as skills of close reading, critical analysis, and written communication that will serve them throughout their lives as citizens and into any career, as ambitious as it may be.
A Two-Session Cyber Workshop with Paloma Celis Carbajal, Curator for Latin American, Iberian, and U.S. Latino Collections, at the NY Public Library (Session 2) Online Event2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT/GMT-4 Some five years ago, the New York Times reported that the book in print was far from dead, a plot twist to the numerous predictions that the 21st century would turn books into bytes only. However, the current pandemic could bring about another plot change given that most aspects of our lives have moved to the digital realm. We are all aware that the virtual plane is not equally accessible throughout the world. How are the current trends defining book production worldwide, but more specifically in Latin America? How does its past and present inform us as to where it's heading? What is the role that libraries play, especially if these institutions have, as one of their goals, to document and preserve the intellectual production of our cultures? In these two sessions we will try to explore these questions together. Open to the wide Bard community.
Zoom Details: Event: "The Future of the Book, and of Libraries, with Paloma Celis Carbajal (NYPL)"
Tuesday October 20, from 12:30-1:30pm; and Tuesday, October 27, from 2-3pm.
Richard Kearns Poet, Freelance Writer, and Musician Online Event2:00 pm – 3:20 pm EDT/GMT-4 Rick Kearns is a poet, freelance writer, and musician of Boricua (Puerto Rican) and European heritage from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was named Poet Laureate of Harrisburg in January 2014. His poems have appeared in over 80 journals, including the Massachusetts Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Patterson Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Letras (lit review of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, NYC), and Chicago Review. Kearns’s poems are also in two books, five national anthologies, two international anthologies, and seven chapbooks. Several of his poems have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
Kearns has given readings throughout the United States since 1992, including at the Nuyorican Poets Café in Manhattan and Capicu in Brooklyn. His poetry is also featured in the CD The Moon Rides a Black Horse, combining his poetry and jazz performed by the Con Alma Quartet (with whom he collaborated between 2010 and 2014).
Yazan Khalili will talk about “the total work of the cultural institution,” a concept developed during his time at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, asking how we can practice critique through the structures of the cultural production. He will also discuss Radio Alhara, the online communal radio that was established in Palestine at the beginning of the lockdown, and functions as an open platform for sharing sound in all its formats. He will think with us about communal media and collective practices, how to establish cultural structures, and infiltrate others.
Yazan Khalili lives and works in and out of Palestine. He is an architect, artist, and cultural producer. His works have been exhibited in several major exhibitions, including KW (Berlin, 2020), MoCA (Toronto, 2020), New Photography (MoMA, 2018), and Shanghai Biennial (2016). Khalili was the director of Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre between 2015 and 2019. He is one of the founders of Radio Alhara, Palestine. Currently, he is the cochair of the photography division of the MFA program at Bard College, a PhD candidate at Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, and a guest researcher at the Rijksakademie.
Olin Humanities Building9:30 am – 4:30 pm EDT/GMT-4 We are excited to announce that both the October 2 and November 6 Bard College IWT Writer as Reader Workshops will be held online.
Writer as Reader workshops model writing practices that inspire students to read more carefully, to grasp the meaning in more complex texts, and to infer meaning from what they read. These workshops invite secondary and college teachers to consider “writing to read” as a central classroom practice, one that shows rather than tells students how writing clarifies the meaning of texts. Working with diverse writing-to-read strategies, workshop participants discover what they bring to the text, what is apparent in the text, what is inferred, and what questions the text poses.
As always, the lineup includes sessions on novels, poetry, nonfiction, historical documents, STEM texts, and other media. Each workshop will highlight writing-to-read strategies that foster close reading and help readers develop an appreciation for the connections between different but related texts.
1. Re-reading Toni Morrison: Black Feminism, Labor, and Love 2. “Ocular Proof”: Reading Othello in an Age of Mass Incarceration 3. The Place of the Writer in the “Widening Gyre”: Things Fall Apart and Unbowed: A Memoir 4. Citizens in Dark Times: Writing Politics in Persepolis and The Federalist Papers 5. Finding Words for the Art of Lying: Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” 6. Too-True Horrors: Cultural Fears in the Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Shirley Jackson 7. Hester Reimagined: The Scarlet Letter and “In the Blood” 8. Retooling the Epic Hero: How Much of These Hills is Gold and The Phantom Pain 9. Poetry of the Unsayable: M. NourbeSe Philip’s “Zong!” and T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” 10. Writing into Life: The Woman Warrior and The Poet X
9:30 am – 4:30 pm EDT/GMT-4 Olin Humanities Building
Friday, October 1, 2021 – Saturday, October 2, 2021
Celebrating Celan at 100: Witnessing for the Witness
Blithewood, Levy Institute In the one hundredth year after Paul Celan’s birth and the fiftieth year after his death — Bard College will host “Celebrating Celan at 100: Witnessing for the Witness,” a gathering of poets, scholars, writers, publishers, and translators to reflect on Celan’s work and his influence upon German and English poetry, including a performance of musical settings of Celan’s poetry and an exhibition of lithographs by his wife and collaborator Gisèle Lestrange.
Organized by a trio of translators with long ties to Bard – Peter Filkins, Susan H. Gillespie, and Pierre Joris – in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Dutchess County, the conference will mark the publication by Farrar, Straus and Giroux of Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry of Paul Celan, the final volume of the complete bilingual edition of Celan’s poetry, translated by Joris. Christine Ivanovic will deliver the keynote address, and welcoming ceremonies will include Paul Celan’s son, Éric Celan, and his literary executor Bertrand Badiou. The conference will feature six panels to be presented by poets, writers, and scholars, a concert of musical settings of Celan’s poetry presented by the Bard College Music Conservatory, and a screening of Wolfsbohne – From Czernowitz to Mychailivka, a documentary by Thierry Valletoux (in French, German and English with English subtitles) that traces Celan’s life journey.