The Literature Program

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The Literature Program

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2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018
An Illustrated Dictionary of Urban Overflows: Nakahira Takuma’s Urban Photography and Writing
Franz Prichard, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
In the early 1970s, the work of celebrated Japanese photographer and critic Nakahira Takuma (1938–2015) underwent a dramatic transformation. The intensive urbanization of Japan during the 1960s and ’70s would effectively redraw the nation’s social and political contours. These pivotal decades witnessed Japan’s integration into the U.S. geopolitical order, undertaken in fits and stages since Japan’s surrender in 1945. Through regional planning and infrastructural projects, such as airports, freeways, and nuclear reactors (including the Fukushima Dai'ichi plant), the entire archipelago was envisioned as an integrated network of communication, transportation, and exchange. At the same time, television and the expanded circulation of image media played an increasingly crucial role in mediating the fraught relationships between the urbanized centers and the remote limits of this wholly remade nation-state. This talk will explore how photographer and critic Nakahira Takuma wrought a vividly urban photographic vocabulary and praxis from the changing urban and media environments of Japan’s Cold War–fueled remaking. Engaging the linkages of Nakahira’s work from the early 1970s with emergent forms of radical film and urban discourse, I will outline a provocative moment of critique to reveal the shifting terrain of power and possibility at the crux of Japan’s Cold War urbanization.
Sponsored by: Art History Program; Asian Studies Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program; Experimental Humanities Program; Japanese Studies Program; Photography Program
Contact: Nathan Shockey  845-752-4506  nshockey@bard.edu
Monday, November 5, 2018
*EVENT CANCELED FOR FALL 2018* 
The Germs of Rome: Modern Science and the Fall of an Ancient Empire
Jon K. Harper, Senior Vice President and Provost, Professor of Classics & Letters, University of Oklahoma
RKC 103  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
This lecture will explore the ways in which the natural sciences, particularly paleogenomics, are providing us exciting new insights into important questions about the ancient past such as the fall of Rome. And it will consider how the study of human history can deepen our understanding of health, disease, and the evolution of pathogens like smallpox and plague.
Sponsored by: Biology Program; Classical Studies Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program; Historical Studies Program
Contact: James Romm  845-758-7283  romm@bard.edu
Thursday, November 1, 2018
The Postcolony Is a Cold War Ruin
Bhakti Shringarpure, Assistant Professor of English, University of Connecticut and editor-in-chief of Warscapes magazine
Olin, Room 203  5:35 pm – 7:00 pm
The postcolony can be viewed as a Cold War ruin. As the Cold War unleashed onto the postcolonial world, it left behind abandoned bunkers, weapons wedged amongst weeds, obsolete computers, cracked and faded slabs of Brutalist buildings, tattered proxy war landscapes, desecrated monuments, and the tortured and debilitated body. But the ruin was not just physical; it was also an affective structure. It was the melancholy and anguish that comes from feeling ruined. As euphoric futures imagined by decolonial dreams were crushed by the Cold War, failure became a fixture within postcolonial ontology. Yet the connection between postcoloniality and the Cold War is not always made visible. If we were to apply what Svetlana Boym has called the “ruin gaze,” it would be possible to excavate the ways in which the Cold War has embedded material, corporeal and affective structures of these failed futures in the postcolony. Theorizing the postcolony as Cold War ruin moves away from indulgent nostalgia. Ruin work is active and enables reconstruction and excavation. This talk re-engages sites that embody such ruins - postcolonial literature of disillusionment, landscapes still riddled with landmines, leftover cars, phones and television sets, and delectable residues of secrets, rumors and conspiracies. The ruin, after all, half buries and half reveals. It is through this tension that new genealogies can emerge to claim that the postcolony was fundamentally shaped by Cold War dynamics.

Bhakti Shringarpure is Assistant Professor of English at University of Connecticut, editor-in-chief of Warscapes magazine, and a graduate of Bard College. Her book Cold War Assemblages: Decolonization to Digital is forthcoming in 2019. 
 
Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature; Middle Eastern Studies Program; Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Elizabeth Holt  845-758-7676  holt@bard.edu
Monday, October 22, 2018
The Film Photonovel: A Forgotten Medium
Professor Jan Baetens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
The 1950s are not only the golden age of the classic European photonovel (a kind of romance comics with photographs), they also saw the emergence of a short-lived subgenre, the film photonovel, which “transmedializes” real movies in photonovel format. This astonishing mix used to be extremely popular in the late 1950s, before rapidly disappearing in the 1960s. In this lecture, Jan Baetens will sketch the commercial and editorial logic of this fascinating “cultural form” and address a specific example, the adaptation of Louis Malle’s Ascenseur pour l’échafaud.

Jan Baetens is professor of literary theory and cultural studies at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). He is the author of the forthcoming The Film Photonovel: A Cultural History of Forgotten Adaptations (Texas University Press, 2019) and, most recently, of Novelization: From Film to Novel (Ohio State University Press, 2018), À voix haute (Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2016), The Graphic Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2014, with H. Frey), and Pour en finir avec la poésie dite minimaliste (Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2014). Baetens coedited the Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel (2018). He is also a prolific poet (Cent fois sur le métier, 2004; Vivre sa vie, 2005; Autres nuages, 2012, Ce monde, 2015; La lecture, 2017—among many other titles) and a novelist (Faire sécession, 2017).
Sponsored by: French Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Professor Éric Trudel  845-758-7121  trudel@bard.edu
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Writing after Fascism: Curzio Malaparte between Paris and Moscow
Jenny McPhee, New York University
Stephen Twilley, Public Books

*Please note start time changed to 7:00 p.m.*

Olin, Room 102  7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Pioneering autofiction with his WWII novels Kaputt (1944) and The Skin (1949), Italian writer Curzio Malaparte is one of most controversial authors of the 20th Century. Malaparte was a protagonist of interwar Europe, from his tumultuous relations with Mussolini and the fascist regime to the cosmopolitan dalliances with French and Russian intelligentsia. He narrated these experiences in the two memoirs The Kremlin Ball and Diary of a Stranger in Paris, for the first time translated into English respectively by Jenny McPhee and Stephen Twilley and now published by NYRB Classics. The two translators will discuss their experience with Malaparte's texts and their relationship with this fascinating yet problematic author.
 
Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program; Literature Program; Translation/Translatability Initiative and French Club
Contact: Franco Baldasso  845-758-7377  baldasso@bard.edu
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
"Stand Still and See": Linking Ability and Captivity in Early America
Professor Nicholas Junkerman, Skidmore College
RKC 103  12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Captivity narratives are built around the drama of the individual's temporary incapacity: the captive is variously unable to move, speak, or behave in the ways he or she would choose. In early American captivity narratives, this restriction is often contrasted with a vision of God as totally, unchangeably able and unrestrained. In addition, captivity narratives often narrate the event and the effects of disabling violence. This talk will discuss the ways in which the religious content of early American captivity narratives informs these depictions of able and impaired bodies. In so doing, it will consider how contemporary disability studies might (or might not) help us to reconsider the genre of the captivity narrative.
Sponsored by: American Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Alex Benson  845-758-7284  abenson@bard.edu
Monday, October 1, 2018
The Pythagorean Harmonics of the Parthenon
Michael Weinman, Professor of Philosophy, Bard College Berlin
RKC 103  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Drawing on arguments from The Parthenon and Liberal Education (SUNY, 2018), a monograph recently coauthored with my Bard College Berlin colleague Geoff Lehman, I will point to the resonance of the work in number theory, astronomy, and harmonics of Philolaus, a near contemporary of Socrates, with central features of the design principles of the Parthenon. In this way, I hope to show that the Parthenon can be seen as a mediator between the early reception of Ancient Near-Eastern mathematical ideas and their integration into Greek thought as a form of liberal education, as the latter came to be defined by Plato and his followers. Prominently in its pursuit of harmonia (harmony; joining together) without resolving tensions between opposites, the Parthenon engages dialectical thought as we encounter it in Plato's dialogues and in ways that are of enduring relevance for the project of liberal education.
Sponsored by: Classical Studies Program; Mathematics Program
Contact: Jamie Romm  845-758-7283  romm@bard.edu
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
The Tangible Humanities
Amy Hungerford, Yale University
RKC 103  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Thinking is an invisible form of work. What does this mean to us today? Amy Hungerford, Bird White Housum Professor of English and Dean of Humanities at Yale, will discuss how and why the humanities have embraced the study of objects and social life with special fervor, a movement that coincides with the rise of virtual culture and with innovations in classroom architecture. How does our desire to see what we study shape—or limit—the subjects, spaces, and methods of teaching? How and where does the invisible work of thought, and the thinker, find a place?
Sponsored by: Calderwood Seminars; Literature Program
Contact: Joseph Luzzi  845-758-7150  jluzzi@bard.edu
Friday, September 14, 2018
Herakles Gone Mad: Moral Injury and Just War
Olin 102  5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
A dramatic reading of Euripides's play Herakles, translated by Dr. Robert Meagher (Hampshire College), followed by a moderated discussion of Moral Injury and Just War with Dr. Meager, Col. David Barnes (West Point Military Academy), and Dr. Mark Santow, University Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Clemente Course in the Humanities. Moderated by Dr. Jack Cheng, Clemente Course in the Humanities. The part of Herakles will be read by Emily Donahoe O'Keefe and the part of Theseus will be read by Wayne Pyle.

Free and open to the public!
Sponsored by: Clemente Course in Humanities Program
Contact: Marina van Zuylen  845-758-7381  vanzuyle@bard.edu
  Monday, May 14, 2018
Written Arts Senior Project Readings 
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Please join the Written Arts Program's graduating seniors for three celebratory nights of short readings from Senior Projects in fiction, poetry, essay, and unclassifiable forms!

MAY 7th READERS
1. Elijah Jackson
2. C Mandler
3. Yuma Carpenter-New
4. Clyda Dansdill
5. Zoe Morgan-Weinman
6. Geneva Zane
7. Maggie Zavgren
8. Noah Schwink-Zanella
9. Jada Smiley
10. Mack Kristofco
11. Olive Kuhn
 
MAY 9th READERS
1. Reet Rannik
2. Allison Berghahn
3. Hannah Lomele
4. Sawyer Dohman
5. Colby Dominus
6. Emma Popkin
7. Chloe Barran
8. Chloe Scala
9. Simone Brown
10. Loreli Mojica
11. Erin Beuglass

MAY 14th READERS
1. Brigid Fister
2. Katherine Bonnie
3. Acacia Nunes
4. Sarah Bosworth
5. Zoe Rohrich
6. Sienna Thompson
7. Peregrine Chase
8. Anna Bauer
9. Aaron Krapf
10. Thomas Gelfars
11. Gwyneth Jones
12. Raina Dziuk
13. Anna Sones
Sponsored by: Written Arts Program
Contact: Corinna Cape  845-752-4454  ccape@bard.edu
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Shafer Beautification Day
Shafer House  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Our Written Arts home is in need of some spring TLC! Join us on Sunday, May 13, for a few hours of weeding, snacking, and chatting with other Written Arts students. We'll have food, drinks, and gardening tools on hand. Please be sure to RSVP using the contact info below.
Sponsored by: Written Arts Program
Contact: Corinna Cape  845-752-4454  ccape@bard.edu
  Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Written Arts Senior Project Readings 
Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join the Written Arts Program's graduating seniors for three celebratory nights of short readings from Senior Projects in fiction, poetry, essay, and unclassifiable forms!

MAY 7th READERS
1. Elijah Jackson
2. C Mandler
3. Yuma Carpenter-New
4. Clyda Dansdill
5. Zoe Morgan-Weinman
6. Geneva Zane
7. Maggie Zavgren
8. Noah Schwink-Zanella
9. Jada Smiley
10. Mack Kristofco
11. Olive Kuhn
 
MAY 9th READERS
1. Reet Rannik
2. Allison Berghahn
3. Hannah Lomele
4. Sawyer Dohman
5. Colby Dominus
6. Emma Popkin
7. Chloe Barran
8. Chloe Scala
9. Simone Brown
10. Loreli Mojica
11. Erin Beuglass

MAY 14th READERS
1. Brigid Fister
2. Katherine Bonnie
3. Acacia Nunes
4. Sarah Bosworth
5. Zoe Rohrich
6. Sienna Thompson
7. Peregrine Chase
8. Anna Bauer
9. Aaron Krapf
10. Thomas Gelfars
11. Gwyneth Jones
12. Raina Dziuk
13. Anna Sones
Sponsored by: Written Arts Program
Contact: Corinna Cape  845-752-4454  ccape@bard.edu
  Monday, May 7, 2018
Written Arts Senior Project Readings 
Olin, Room 101  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join the Written Arts Program's graduating seniors for three celebratory nights of short readings from Senior Projects in fiction, poetry, essay, and unclassifiable forms!

MAY 7th READERS
1. Elijah Jackson
2. C Mandler
3. Yuma Carpenter-New
4. Clyda Dansdill
5. Zoe Morgan-Weinman
6. Geneva Zane
7. Maggie Zavgren
8. Noah Schwink-Zanella
9. Jada Smiley
10. Mack Kristofco
11. Olive Kuhn
 
MAY 9th READERS
1. Reet Rannik
2. Allison Berghahn
3. Hannah Lomele
4. Sawyer Dohman
5. Colby Dominus
6. Emma Popkin
7. Chloe Barran
8. Chloe Scala
9. Simone Brown
10. Loreli Mojica
11. Erin Beuglass

MAY 14th READERS
1. Brigid Fister
2. Katherine Bonnie
3. Acacia Nunes
4. Sarah Bosworth
5. Zoe Rohrich
6. Sienna Thompson
7. Peregrine Chase
8. Anna Bauer
9. Aaron Krapf
10. Thomas Gelfars
11. Gwyneth Jones
12. Raina Dziuk
13. Anna Sones
Sponsored by: Written Arts Program
Contact: Corinna Cape  845-752-4454  ccape@bard.edu
Friday, April 27, 2018
Translating the Odyssey Again: How and Why


Emily Wilson, Professor of Classics, University of Pennsylvania

Moderated by Wyatt Mason

RKC 103  4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

This presentation is a keynote address for the Translation Symposium at Bard, sponsored by L&L and Bard’s Translation and Translatability Initiative.
Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature; Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Olga Voronina  845-758-7391  ovoronin@bard.edu
  Friday, April 27, 2018
Translation Symposium
A conference on the theory and practice of translation, organised by Bard's Translation and Translatability Initiative.
Bard College Campus  9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature
Contact: Olga Voronina  845-758-7472  ovoronin@bard.edu
  Friday, April 20, 2018 – Saturday, April 21, 2018
Institute for Writing and Thinking April Conference: Tolerance in the Classroom: Microaggressions, Trigger Warnings, and Safe Spaces
Campus Center, Multipurpose Room  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
In a 2016 survey on school climate, Teaching Tolerance found that “verbal harassment, the use of slurs and derogatory language, and disturbing incidents” are on the rise in schools across America (“After Election Day”). Unsurprisingly, there has also been an increase in articles with headlines like “4 Tips to Teach Kindness,” “Creating Equitable and Just Classrooms” and “Talking About Tolerance.” 

By definition, a classroom is a space where “students gather collectively”—a place where many different individuals come together to form a learning community. As teachers, how this learning community works is largely based on the culture we create in our own classrooms. As the world outside the classroom becomes increasingly complex, how do we create genuinely safe learning environments where all student experience is valued and respected?
 
This year’s annual conference provides an opportunity for us to think and write together to investigate and grapple with issues around difference and equity in the classroom. More specifically, we’ll focus on how writing-based teaching strategies can help foster the kinds of safe and creative spaces that students thrive in. How might informal writing and active listening help to create an atmosphere of inclusion? Given the evolving terminologies associated with identity, how can we make sure to be attentive to the language we use and promote?
 
Through experiential workshop sessions and a plenary, this conference will highlight IWT’s writing-based teaching practices and how they might help us foster a more solid classroom community in which open dialogue and culturally responsive curricula embody the definition of a safe space for learning. 

To register online, visit www.writingandthinking.org.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch.  Email us at iwt@bard.edu or call us at (845) 752-4516.
Sponsored by: Institute for Writing and Thinking
Contact: Paloma Dooley  845-752-4516  iwt@bard.edu
Thursday, April 19, 2018
A Reading by Dawn Lundy Martin and Hoa Nguyen
László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building  7:00 pm

Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (2007), winner of the Cave Canem Prize; DISCIPLINE (2011), which was selected by Fanny Howe for the Nightboat Books Poetry Prize and as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and several chapbooks. Her 2015 collection Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry. Her latest collection, Good Stock, Strange Blood, was published by Coffee House Press in 2017.

“In her latest collection, Martin contemplates the corporeal aspects of black identity, including scars from historical traumas and pain from fresher wounds. . . . In this esoteric and ruminative work, God is shown to be present in the midst of a host of desires and griefs both great and small.” —Publishers Weekly

Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C., area, Hoa Nguyen lives in Toronto, where she teaches poetics in several university settings and in a popular, long-running private workshop. Her recent books include As Long as Trees Last, Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008, and Violet Energy Ingots, nominated for a 2017 Griffin Prize for poetry.

“Nguyen’s playful criticism of our society of the spectacle shows how we deflate the currency of ancient nobility by our own reductive values surrounding identity and beauty, as she cries the old songs down the river.” —The New York Times

This reading is part of a series that will honor the memory of John Ashbery. Introduced by Ann Lauterbach, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Sponsored by: John Ashbery Poetry Series
Contact: Corinna Cape  845-752-4454  ccape@bard.edu
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Translation and Reception: A Panel Discussion
James Marcus
Editor in Chief, Harper’s Magazine

Olin, Room 203  5:00 pm
This panel will be a conversation about translating and reading in translation. What are the kinds of technical problems that come up when approaching texts in translation? How can translators and readers move past these problems? What is the role of an editor in dealing with translation? The panel will use James Marcus’s recent review essay on the translations of Primo Levi as a starting point, in order to then engage more broadly with questions of translation. Bard’s Peter Filkins and Susan H. Gillespie will hold the discussion.
Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program, Literature Program, Written Arts Program, Translation and Translatability Initiative, and Sui Generis
Contact: Karen Raizen  845-758-7116  kraizen@bard.edu
Monday, April 16, 2018
A Reading by Richard Powers
The Pulitzer finalist and National Book Awardwinning author reads from The Overstory
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
On Monday, April 16, at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, novelist Richard Powers reads from his latest book, The Overstory. Presented by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, introduced by novelist and Bard literature professor Bradford Morrow, and followed by a Q&A, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Bard’s literary journal, Conjunctions, will be giving away a limited number of copies of its Twentieth Anniversary Issue, which features an excerpt from Powers’s novel The Time of Our Singing.

After viewing August Sander’s photograph Young Farmers, Richard Powers was inspired to quit his job as a computer programmer and write his first novel. Powers spent the next two years penning Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, then moved to the Netherlands, where he wrote Prisoner’s Dilemma, a work that juxtaposes Disney and nuclear warfare. His other novels include The Echo Maker (2006), which won the National Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Gain (1998), which won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction. Powers’s works explore music, genetics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. His novels have been named Best Books of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Christian Science Monitor, London Evening Standard, and others.

Powers was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1989 and received a Lannan Literary Award in 1999. In 2010 and 2013, Powers was a Stein Visiting Writer at Stanford University, during which time he partly assisted in the lab of biochemist Aaron Straight. He currently lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. PRAISE FOR RICHARD POWERS
“If Powers were an American writer of the nineteenth century … he’d probably be the Herman Melville of Moby-Dick. His picture is that big.” —Margaret Atwood, New York Review of Books

“Powers is prodigiously talented. Besides being fearfully erudite, he writes lyrical prose, has a seductive sense of wonder and is an acute observer of social life.” —New York Times Book Review

“Richard Powers, whose novels combine the wonders of science with the marvels of art, astonishes us in different ways with each new book.” —NPR Books

“Of novelists in Powers’s generation with whom he is often compared—Franzen, Vollmann, Wallace—none equals Powers’s combination of consistent production, intellectual range, formal ingenuity, and emotional effect.” —Christian Science Monitor

“Powers may well be one of the smartest novelists now writing.” ―Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Powers’s writing is complex and heady without being headachy, and his synesthetic descriptions of finding melodies in the mundane are full of their own kind of music.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A master novelist.” —Economist

“[Powers’s] characters are unforgettable, flesh-and-blood individuals as finely drawn as those of any contemporary fiction writer.” ―Seattle Times

“America’s most ambitious novelist.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“One of our finest novelists.” —Newsday
Sponsored by: Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series
Contact: Nicole Nyhan  845-758-7054  nnyhan@bard.edu
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Cattle of the Lord
A bilingual reading by Portuguese poet Rosa Alice Branco and her translator Alexis Levitin
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  4:45 pm
Alice Branco's powerful book Cattle of the Lord won the prestigious Spiral Maior Poetry award from Galicia (for best book of poetry in Portuguese, Galician, or Spanish, for the year 2009). The book appeared in a bilingual edition by Milkweed Editions in this country last spring. Collections of Rosa Alice Branco's poetry have appeared in Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Quebec, Tunisia, Corsica, Venezuela, Brazil, and elsewhere. Here in the USA her poetry has appeared in forty magazines to date, including The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, The Literary Review and Prairie Schooner. Her translator, Alexis Levitin, has published over thirty books of translation of Portuguese poetry and prose and is a SUNY Distinguished Professor. His works include Clarice Lispector’s Soulstorm (short prose) and Eugénio de Andrade’s Forbidden Words (poetry), both published by New Directions. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the Witter Bynner Foundation, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and Columbia University’s Translation Center, which awarded him the Fernando Pessoa Prize.
Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature, Experimental Humanities Program, and Translation and Translatability Initiative
Contact: Peter Filkins  845-758-7171  filkins@bard.edu
Monday, April 2, 2018
A Reading by Laura van den Berg
The Bard Fiction Prize winner Laura van den Berg reads from her work.
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  2:30 pm
On Monday, April 2, at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, novelist and story writer Laura van den Berg reads from her work. Presented by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, introduced by novelist and Bard literature professor Bradford Morrow, and followed by a Q&A, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Laura van den Berg is the author of the novel Find Me (2015), which was long-listed for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize and selected as a Best Book of the Year by Time Out New York and NPR. She is also the author of two story collections, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (2009) and The Isle of Youth (2013), both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her honors include the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation; her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. Her next novel, The Third Hotel, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in August 2018. She is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University.
 PRAISE FOR LAURA VAN DEN BERG
 “Van den Berg spins complex plots around a sense of emotional emptiness. Her stories are bursting at the seams.” —The New York Times

“Van den Berg somehow packs a duffel bag of plot into carry-on-size stories. She also has the right kind of range: from brutal to moving to funny, South America to Paris to Antarctica, really great to freaking outstanding.” ―New York Magazine

“I love Laura van den Berg for her eeriness and her elegance, the way the fabric of her stories is woven on a slightly warped loom so that you read her work always a bit perturbed.” ―Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

“Laura van den Berg is one of our best writers, an absolute marvel.” ―Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
Sponsored by: Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series
Contact: Nicole Nyhan  845-758-7054  nnyhan@bard.edu
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Tatyana Tolstaya: Aetherial Worlds
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Russia's preeminent novelist, essayist, short story writer, and public intellectual, Tatyana Tolstaya has been compared to Chekhov and Nabokov. In her new book, Aetherial Worlds (Knopf, 2018), she blends love, dreams, memories, and myths with grim sarcasm, deadpan humor, and hilarious specificity that not only documents contemporary Russia's everyday life but also makes the metaphysical realms beyond here and now both tangible and surreal.
Sponsored by: Center for Civic Engagement; Division of Languages and Literature; Russian/Eurasian Studies Program
Contact: Olga Voronina  845-758-7391  ovoronin@bard.edu
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Perverse Criticism:
Thinking Literature in Meiji Japan
Miyabi Goto
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
University of Virginia

Olin, Room 203  4:45 pm
Criticism is often considered as an evaluative response to literature. What if, however, criticism arrived before literature in a particular time and space in history? Japan's Meiji period (1868–1912) bore witness to such a perverse ordering of criticism and literature, as criticism actually prepared the notion of “literature” as a modern, independent form of knowledge. By investigating intellectual discursive spaces in late 19th-century Japan, this lecture demonstrates how and why criticism preceded literature. 
 
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Program; Dean of the College; Division of Languages and Literature
Contact: Nathan Shockey  845-758-6822  nshockey@bard.edu
Monday, March 26, 2018
A Reading by Sandra Allen
The author reads from their book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia
László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building  7:00 pm

On Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Performance Space, Sandra Allen will read from their book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. 

In 2009, writer Sandra Allen got something in the mail from their uncle Bob. It was his autobiography, typed on 60 pages in all-capital letters. Bob was a self-described "hermit" who lived in a Californian desert. Allen didn't know him well. On the phone, he said he wanted to get his story "out there" because it was "true." In A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia, Allen shares Bob's story with the world. AKOMP is written in two fonts. In one, Allen tells their uncle Bob's life story faithfully to his account—animating his childhood and teenage years in tumultuous late-'60s Berkeley, California. His world was changed irrevocably when one day, at age 16, he was driven to a mental hospital, locked in a cell, and injected with antipsychotics. In a second font, Allen interlaces familial, historical, and medical contexts, seeking especially to better understand the "label" Bob received: "psychotic paranoid schizophrenic." The result is an utterly unique and electrifying work, one poised to change conversation about schizophrenia and about mental illness generally.

"Thrilling writing . . . The interest and the quality of the story make honesty about each aspect of this strange life worth including. . . . A watershed in empathetic adaptation of 'outsider' autobiography." —The New Republic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandra Allen grew up in Northern California, studied nonfiction writing at Brown, and received an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program. In 2009, they cofounded the digital literary quarterly Wag's Revue, which they ran for many years until its final issue in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, they were deputy features editor at Buzzfeed News. Allen's own features and essays have appeared in Pop-Up Magazine, BuzzFeed News, and elsewhere, and are forthcoming in Pacific Standard and them. They live in the Catskills and are non-binary (pronouns she/them). More at www.sandraeallen.com.
Sponsored by: Written Arts Program
Contact: Corinna Cape  845-752-4454  writtenarts@bard.edu
Monday, March 26, 2018
“Black Feminist Interventions in Children's Fantasy: Recovered Histories, Literary Representation, and New Publishing Technologies,” with Zetta Elliot
RKC 103  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
How do we move children’s fantasy beyond the racialized and imperialist norms of the genre? In this interactive presentation, author/educator Zetta Elliott will discuss “the trouble with magic.” After spending her childhood consuming British fantasy fiction, Elliott began to decolonize her imagination, and has dedicated her writing life to reconstituting “Black magic” as a powerful force to be celebrated rather than defeated. Elliott uses the historical fantasy genre to revise, review and reclaim the (often traumatic) histories of Atlantic enslavement and colonization. She is also an advocate for community-based publishing and will reveal how print-on-demand technology transfers power from the industry’s gatekeepers to those excluded from the publishing process.

Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott moved to the US in 1994 to pursue her Ph.D. in American studies at NYU. Her essays have appeared in the Huffington PostSchool Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of over 25 books for young readers, including the award-winning picture books Bird and Melena's Jubilee. Her own imprint, Rosetta Press, generates culturally relevant stories that center children who have been marginalized, misrepresented, and/or rendered invisible in traditional children’s literature. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
 
Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; American Studies Program; Experimental Humanities Program; Literature Program
Contact: gcaiazza@bard.edu
Monday, March 5, 2018
The Seventh Wonder of the ZAD
Kristin Ross
Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature,
New York University

Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  4:45 pm
The longest-lasting ongoing struggle in France today is the occupational attempt to block the construction of an international airport in farmland in western France, the ZAD, or “zone à defendre,” outside of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. In this talk I will consider a number of innovative practices reworked and lived by the inhabitants of the ZAD, in relation to historic examples such as the Commune de Paris of 1871. At the center of my presentation will be the notion of the territory and the logics of difference, possibility and autonomy it implies—the local, often rural construction of an autonomous zone, in secession from the state, which does not result in a closing in upon itself. What is a territory worth defending? What does it mean to defend a zone, or to work at creating—over time, and perhaps over a lifetime—a territory worthy of defense? How can a struggle whose particularity lies in being anchored in one place be extended to other territories?

Kristin Ross is professor emerita of comparative literature at New York University. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, she is the author of a number of books about modern and contemporary French political culture, all of which have appeared in French translation, including The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (1988); Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995); and May ’68 and Its Afterlives (2002). Her most recent book, Communal Luxury (2015), was published first in France by La Fabrique.
Sponsored by: Political Studies Program; the French Studies Program
Contact: Kevin Duong  845-752-4612  kduong@bard.edu
Monday, February 26, 2018
A Reading by Karan Mahajan
The Bard Fiction Prize winner and National Book Award finalist Karan Mahajan reads from his work.
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  2:30 pm

On Monday, February 26, at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, novelist Karan Mahajan reads from his work. Presented by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, introduced by novelist and Bard literature professor Bradford Morrow, and followed by a Q&A, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Karan Mahajan studied English and economics at Stanford University before earning an M.F.A. in fiction from the Michener Center for Writers. His first novel, Family Planning (2012), was a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. His second novel, The Association of Small Bombs (2016), won the Bard Fiction Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction, and the NYPL Young Lions Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, in addition to being named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and others. In 2017, Mahajan was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists.
 


PRAISE FOR KARAN MAHAJAN
 “The Association of Small Bombs is wonderful. It is smart, devastating, unpredictable, and enviably adept in its handling of tragedy and its fallout. . . . Mahajan is the real deal.” —Fiona Maazel, New York Times Book Review

“A voracious approach to fiction-making . . . Mahajan has a cinematic attunement to the spectacle of disaster.” —New Yorker

“Mahajan is an incredibly assured stylist. . . . Hugely promising.” —Jay McInerney, Daily Beast

“Even when handling the darkest material or picking through confounding emotional complexities, Mahajan maintains a light touch and a clarity of vision.” —London Review of Books

“Mahajan . . . has already developed an irresistible voice with a rich sense of humor fueled by sorrow.” —Washington Post Book World
Sponsored by: Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series
Contact: Nicole Nyhan  845-758-7054  nnyhan@bard.edu
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Bad Art, Its Cause and Cure
David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English, Yale University
RKC 103  5:00 pm
Aesthetic judgment presumes that there is such a thing as bad art, and that it warrants careful description and analysis; with examples from 19th- and 20th-century poetry, didactic criticism and its opponents, and one or two recent Hollywood films.
Sponsored by: American Studies Program; Hannah Arendt Center; Historical Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Matthew Mutter  845-389-8618  mmutter@bard.edu
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Shakespeare's Aristotle:
The Poetics in Renaissance England
Micha Lazarus, Research Fellow,
Trinity College, Cambridge University

Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Aristotle's Poetics upended literary thought in the Renaissance, mediating classical models, stimulating generic experiment, and isolating an emergent literary field. Yet it has long been considered either unavailable in England, linguistically inaccessible to the Greekless English, or hopelessly mediated for English readers by Italian criticism. Scholars have thus resisted reading the Poetics into the literary development of sixteenth-century England even where it seems most influential, and the period has been confusingly insulated from the vibrant classical and continental traditions of poetic thought from which, at times, it clearly drew.

In fact, there is plenty of hard evidence that the Poetics was, on the contrary, a real force in Renaissance England, and the untold story of its reception casts both the Poetics and the period in a new light. In this paper I will present two methodological approaches to a restored Poetics. The first traces its arrival in 1540s England through the Byzantine trivium, the Greek pronunciation controversy, scriptural tragedy, and academic readings of classical drama, locating the Poetics within a network of intellectual affiliations now mostly forgotten. Yet restoring the Poetics to critical prominence opens new paths for literary criticism as well as literary history. My second case study will suggest how we might read the Poetics into the fabric of literary composition itself, as close comparison of Hamlet and King Lear finds Shakespeare on the trail of Aristotle's elusive notion of catharsis.
Sponsored by: Classical Studies Program; Literature Program; Medieval Studies Program
Contact: Marisa Libbon  845-758-7211  mlibbon@bard.edu
  Monday, February 19, 2018
Columbia Publishing Course Information Session

 

Olin Language Center, Room 115  4:40 pm
Learn about the Columbia Publishing Course (CPC), an intensive, six-week introduction to all aspects of book, magazine, and digital publishing. The CPC is now offered in both NYC and the UK.

When: Monday, Feburary 19, 2018, 4:40pm
Where: Olin Language Center (LC) Room 115
Led by: Shaye Areheart, Director, Columbia Publishing Course
The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism's Columbia Publishing Course is an intensive introduction to all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. At CPC students learn directly from leaders in the industry—writers, editors, publishers, design directors, illustrators, advertising experts, and publicists. Geared to recent college graduates and culminating in a job fair, the course also includes extensive preparation for the job market. Graduates have landed at Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, GQ.com, Vice, Buzzfeed, and Slate.

All class years and majors welcome.
 
Sponsored by: Literature Program; Written Arts Program
Contact: Career Development Office  845-758-6822 x7539  cdo@bard.edu
Thursday, February 15, 2018
The Witness's Two Bodies: Primo Levi, Anne Frank, Jorge Semprún
a lecture by
Prof. Anna Maria Mariani (University of Chicago)

respondent
Prof. Francine Prose (Bard College)
 

Olin, Room 102  5:00 pm
This talk asks what became of Primo Levi’s testimonial function after his death. The first part investigates the literary objects (novels and comic books) produced in the wake of Levi’s death, when fictionalized representations of him multiplied through different media. As a means of comparison, the question will be explored by taking into account a series of fictional works that feature another quintessential emblem of the Shoah: Anne Frank. The second part will instead examine Literature or Life by Buchenwald survivor Jorge Semprún, who rewrote and rearticulated Levi’s words on the very day of the latter’s suicide. Can testimonial function migrate between mortal bodies, like the royal dignitas, thus preserving itself beyond the ephemeral lives of individuals? 
 
Sponsored by: Hannah Arendt Center; Italian Studies Program; Jewish Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Franco Baldasso  845-758-7377  baldasso@bard.edu