I’d like to announce a new inter-departmental UCLA student reading group focused on the writing and research of graduate students investigating “modernist” (i.e. anything roughly after 1850 or so, depending on language) and/or “experimental” (i.e. anything non-normative, purposefully or not, that reflects emergent formal or aesthetic features) literature and text art. Oh, by “text art,” I mean any form of art production that has a strong textual component, including performance, painting, film, digital text-art and video games.

I am patterning this group on the Americanist Research Colloquium that Christopher Looby (English) conducts, in the sense that papers will be distributed to interested parties via email before the sessions, and not be “presented” in person. Sessions will be given over entirely to discussion of the paper. The main task of the reading group would be to critique standard, page-based academic productions – namely, the essays that you would hope to have published in peer-reviewed journals – but with an additional emphasis on inter-departmental information exchange. This might seem “retro” given that I am a Digital Humanities Professor, but hiring and promotions in the academy today is still largely based on the journal article, and it is, indeed, a most convenient genre for critique in brief, informal settings.

Participants would be invited to present or attend from any number of departments, including Art History, Music, Philosophy, Film, Television and Media, and Design / Media Arts and the Humanities, from a variety of languages and sub-disciplines. I already have four students who are interested in presenting, and hope to have a schedule together soon for the remainder of the present quarter and Spring. Eventually, I would also invite scholars from Southern California (whoever would travel cheaply or for free) to present their recent, unpublished writing for critique by students (and myself).

I’m also arranging to have events modestly catered, so that they’re nice social events to assuage the loneliness of being an impoverished, under-appreciated graduate student.

Please drop me an email at bstefans@gmail (not my humnet address, as I find it difficult to organize large volumes of email there) if you are interested in being on our mailing list.

Brian Kim Stefans
Assistant Professor, English

M/ELT: modernist/experimental literature and text-art reading group

First meeting:

February 23rd @ 5pm, Humanities 250
Jacquelyn Ardam (UCLA, English)

“Too Old for Children and Too Young for Grown-ups”:
Gertrude Stein’s To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays

Forthcoming in Spring 2011

Jeremy Schmidt (UCLA, English), “Later Enough”: The Datapoetics of Nicholson Baker, Susan Wheeler, and Kevin Davies

Alice Henton (UCLA, English), “Playing with Archive: Game and Narrative in Bioware’s Dragon Age: Origins”

Evan Kindley (Princeton, English), “Empson’s Forms of Talk”