Rethinking Poetics, Columbia University, NYC, June 11-13 2010

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Columbia-Penn Poetics Initiative

Rethinking Poetics

Columbia University, NYC
June 11-13, 2010

Announcing the Columbia-Penn Poetics Initiative.

We are convening a three-day conference at Columbia (June 11-13, 2010), "Rethinking Poetics." It is our sense that the practices of poetics are in danger of becoming pro forma and that a focused, skeptical examination of basic assumptions will be most useful. Terms continue to be used routinely in circumstances that increasingly call for nuanced or even fundamental change. What does "materiality of the signifier" mean in the era of data mining or platform instability? What does "news" mean? How useful are current periodizations? Such questions can be multiplied.

Given that new questions need to be raised and old certainties troubled, our goal is to have a conference dedicated to articulating what most needs to be rethought, what familiar formulations seem increasingly inadequate, what new directions seem best to pursue.

In order to allow for time for substantial conversation, we are scheduling no multiple panels and no plenaries; rather, there will be a series of plenary-panels, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, with four or five speakers each taking 10-12 minutes for themselves, leaving half the session for more general discussion. There will be a panel chair to moderate discussion, but there will be no introductions.

Participants will include Rachel Zolf, Rodrigo Toscano, Jennifer Scappettone, Brent Hayes Edwards, Lytle Shaw, Juliana Spahr, Kenny Goldsmith, Erica Hunt, Alan Golding, Monica de la Torre, Andrew Schelling, Bruce Andrews, Michael Taussig, Joan Retallack, Rachel DuPlessis, K. Silem Muhammad, Jena Osman, Craig Dworkin, Elizabeth Willis, Barrett Watten, Rob Fitterman, Jonathan Skinner, Marjorie Perloff, Sherwin Bitsui, Mark Nowak, Judith Goldman, C. S. Giscombe, Steve Evans, Stephanie Young, Lisa Robertson, Paul Stephens, Rob Halpern, Jeff Dirksen, Ben Friedlander, Joshua Clover, Michael Taussig, Astrid Lorange, James Livingston, Jeff Nealon, Richard Doyle, Tan Lin, Tonya Foster, Matthew Hofer, John Melillo, Susan Howe, and Charles Bernstein.

Conference costs for the 3-day conference are $50/university faculty, $20/student & unaffiliated; $10 1-day entrance.

For more information and updated information, including conference registration, please visit our blog at

Please send any questions or comments to Aaron Winslow at rethinkingpoetics AT