SPEAKERS from 2020

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The Ache of Modernism
Thursday, February 20th 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Chao Auditorium
Ekstrom Library
Co-Sponsored by the Wittreich Family Endowment, Department of English

Jed Rasula is Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia. His most recent scholarly titles are a history of Dada, Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century (Basic Books 2015); History of a Shiver: The Sublime Impudence of Modernism (Oxford, 2016), and Acrobatic Modernism from the Avant-Garde to Prehistory (in press, Oxford). Previous publications include The American Poetry Wax Museum (NCTE, 1996), This Compost: Ecological Imperatives in American Poetry (Georgia, 2002), Syncopations: The Stress of Innovation in Contemporary American Poetry (Alabama, 2004), and Modernism and Poetic Inspiration: The Shadow Mouth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Before pursuing a doctoral degree at UC Santa Cruz, Rasula worked in radio and television in Hollywood, and edited the poetry magazine Wch Way (1976-84). From 1990-2000 he was on the editorial board of the journal Sulfur. His poetry titles include Tabula Rasula (1986), Hot Wax, or Psyche’s Drip (2007), and Hectic Pigment (2017), as well as numerous translations in his co-edited anthologies Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity (with Tim Conley, Action Books, 2012) and Imagining Language (with Steve McCaffery, MIT,1998).


Rasula’s honors include the General Electric Younger Writers Award (1987), the Frank Knox Award for Excellence in Teaching (Queen’s University, 1992), the Postmodern Culture prize for best essay (1999), the Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin (2009), and the Matei Calinescu Prize from the MLA for History of a Shiver.

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A Reading from her Work
Friday, February 21st 3:15-4:15 p.m.
Bingham Poetry Room
Ekstrom Library
Sponsored by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program

Coral Bracho is the author of several collections of poetry, including El ser que va a morir (1982); Tierra de entraña ardiente (1992), a collaboration with painter Irma Palacios; Ese espacio, ese jardín (2003), which won the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize; and Cuarto de hotel (2007). Firefly under the Tongue: Selected Poems (2008) was translated by Forrest Gander. Bracho’s impact on Mexican poetry has been compared to John Ashbery’s influence on American verse. As Gander observes, “Her diction spills out along ceaselessly shifting beds of sound. . . . Bracho’s early poems make sense first as music, and music propels them.” A selection of poems from her first two collections was included in the anthologies Medusario (1996, ed. Roberto Echavarren, José Kozer, and Jacobo Sefamí), Reversible Monuments: An Anthology of Contemporary Mexican Poetry (2002), and Líneas Conectadas: nueva poesía de los Estados Unidos (Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico) (2006, ed. Luis Cortés Bargalló and Forrest Gander). Her poetry was translated for the Poetry Translation Center’s 2005 World Poets’ Tour by Tom Boll and Katherine Pierpoint. Bracho’s honors include the Aguacalientes National Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives and teaches in Mexico City.

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Breaking, Making, Dancing: Digital Poetics and the Black Computational
Saturday, February 22nd 5:00-6:00 p.m.
University Club, Ballroom B
Sponsored by the Department of Comparative Humanities

Marisa Parham is Professor of English at Amherst College, with affiliations in the departments of Black Studies and Film and Media Studies, and directs the Immersive Reality Lab for the Humanities, an independent workgroup for digital and experimental humanities (irLh). irLh develops and incubates digital projects for AR, VR, and screen, and supports the work of digital scholars. She is the author of Haunting and Displacement in African American Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2008) and The African American Student’s Guide to College (Princeton Review, 1998), and co-editor of Theorizing Glissant: Sites and Citations (Rowan and Littlefield, 2015). Books in progress include “Black Haunts in the Anthropocene” and “’Use Everything’: Octavia Butler’s Speculative Fictions.” Prof. Parham has been a Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Huntington Library and a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research. Her current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality. She is particularly interested in how such terms share a history of increasing complexity in texts produced by African Americans, and how they also offer ways of thinking about intersectional approaches to digital humanities and technology studies.

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2019 Calvino Prize Winner
Winning Story: "Behavioral Sink"
Friday, February 21st 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Bingham Poetry Room
Ekstrom Library

Margie Sarsfield is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in The Normal School, Smokelong, Seneca Review, Quarter After Eight and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter at @nightchemicals.

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A Reading from his Work
Friday, February 21st 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Room 100
Bingham Humanities Building
Sponsored by the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society

Pulitzer Prize-winning Forrest Gander is a poet, writer, translator, and editor of several anthologies, the author of more than a dozen books, including collaborations with notable artists and photographers. Be With, Gander’s collection of elegies for his partner of more than thirty years, the poet C. D. Wright, won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. Core Samples from the World (2011)—a collaboration studded with the work of the photographers Graciela Iturbide, Raymond Meeks, and Lucas Foglia—was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Gander’s other poetry collections include Eye Against Eye (2005), with photographs by Sally Mann; Torn Awake (2001); and Science & Steepleflower (1998). He is the author of the essay collection Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory & Transcendence (2005) and of two novels, As A Friend (2008) and The Trace (2014); Redstart: An Ecological Poetics (2012) is a collaborative experiment in prose and poetry written with John Kinsella. 


A translator of international renown, Gander’s translations include Alice, Iris, Red Horse: Selected Poems of Gozo YoshimasuThen Come Back: The Lost Poems of Pablo NerudaFungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alfonso D’Aquino, longlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation; Pinholes in the Night: Essential Poems from Latin America (with Raúl Zurita); Watchword, the Villaurrutia Award-winning book by Mexican Poet Laureate Pura Lopez Colome; Spectacle & Pigsty (with Kyoko Yoshida), selected poems by contemporary Japanese poet Kiwao Nomura, which won the Best Translated Book Award for 2012; Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho, a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize; and (with Kent Johnson) The Night, by Jaime Saenz.


In 2008, Gander was named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, and he has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting, and United States Artists Foundations. Gander was Briggs-Copeland Poet at Harvard University before becoming the A.K. Seaver Professor of Literary Arts & Comparative Literature at Brown University, where he taught for more than twenty years. He lives and works now in Petaluma, California.

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