Mourning Kathryn Hixson

We are shocked and saddened to hear that the art historian and critic Kathryn Hixson, who spoke with Anne Wilson on the last day of our conference, has passed away. If you are interested in attending her December 14th memorial, please let Jennifer Cohen know by December 7th.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be sent to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in support of a future publication of Kathryn’s writing. Checks can be made payable to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and sent to the SAIC Office of Development at 37 South Wabash, suite 818, Chicago IL 60603. Gifts can also be made online.

Campus Map

Reading for Edgar Garcia’s Talk

Edgar Garcia, who will be on the second panel on Thursday, has asked that we pre-circulate a travel essay by Ezra Pound that is not in wide circulation. You can find it here:

New Schedule

Please follow the “Schedule” link on the right hand side of the blog home page for our final list of panels.

See you soon!

Film Screening!

Bersani has requested that we screen a film in preparation for his keynote address. The film is not available through Netflix, so please try to make it to the screening.

The screening will take place in Cobb 307 on Wednesday, Oct. 20th from 10:30am-12:30pm.

Reading, reading, reading and beyond

Our submissions committee is reading through the many many responses we received to our CFP. Thank you all for your interest and are moving as quickly as we can to get acceptances prepared.

On another note, we’d also like to announce that Tom Mitchell, Lauren Berlant, Aden Kumler, and Leo Bersani have each confirmed for the concluding round table.

Deadline confusion

Due to a mistake in some of the emails sent out announcing the deadline extension, we will accept abstracts until the 30th of July, 2010. But we won’t mind if you get it in before then. Promise.


­Call for Papers and Creative Proposals:
Communicating Forms: Aesthetics, Relationality, Collaboration
Fifth Annual English Graduate Conference, University of Chicago
A joint conference between English Language & Literature and Art History
Proposal deadline extended to July 20, 2010

October 21-22
Keynote speaker: Leo Bersani

 “A modern reflection on being must be aware of itself not as an approximation of metaphysical truth; rather, the ontology most congenial to an age of information is one that identifies being as relationality, as the principle of connectedness assumed by all technologies of transmission, as well as by the social imaginary that can refract or violate it.” – Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit, “Beauty’s Light”

 While a myriad of correspondences and exchanges make artistic, literary, and critical production possible, aesthetic forms themselves can deepen our understanding of relationality and allow us to imagine new modes of collaboration. This conference seeks to investigate relationality in its many guises: as a mode of aesthetic production, as it is represented in art and literature, but also as it fails to produce or eludes affective registration. Submissions of particular interest will consider a variety of subject positions in elective relationships as they are defined through and defining of historically embedded media and technologies.

 Together, we hope to address a range of questions concerning the aesthetics of relationality and collaboration. For example:

 How might we imagine connectedness in terms that account for the idiosyncratic amity and enmity that exists between theory and material form? What sort of relationship could we elaborate between making and thinking that might complicate the binary of theory and practice? How have historical shifts in forms of connectedness transformed artistic and literary production? Can we articulate the effects of collaboration without terms that have been determined by models of singular subjectivity or individual intention? What are the stakes and possibilities for disciplinary collaborations? Where do insular methodologies break down and what are the conditions for productive (mis)communication?

 In the spirit of Leo Bersani’s exploration of collaboration as both form and theme, we strongly encourage papers and presentations with multiple authors or artists. We encourage creative submissions that put the concerns of the conference in practice through process, form, or content. Though we look forward to nontraditional formats, all presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes. Please address special space and media requirements in your proposal.

 Papers from all disciplines will be considered and may address topics including: 

  • collaboration, collectivity and connectedness
  • (mis)communication and (mis)translation
  • Genre and collaborative formation
  • Serialization, sharing, group readings, and other circulation practices
  • Journalism and periodical cultures and their constructions of “ideal readers”
  • poetic “voice” as interactive process rather than utterance of a singular speaker or author
  • relationships and partnerships: in and between works of art and literature, between the artist/author and work, between conceptual and experiential critical models
  • interactions in which agency is ambiguously located
  • information networks; virtual, global, or otherwise
  • the “stuff” of the social; the materiality or immateriality of media and spaces of communication
  • historically contingent forms of social interaction and theoretical approaches to sociality (psychoanalysis, queer theory, etc.)
  • harmony or discord: commensurability or incommensurability between medium, content, and reception
  • intersections of theoretical concepts (such as aesthetics and relationality) and practice (such as the practical dynamics of collaboration).
  • group politics: inclusion and exclusion, power-plays, mutinies
  • inadequacies of current exhibition spaces, modes of circulation, forms of critical production, or pedagogical exchanges 

Please submit abstracts of 350 words or less to by July 20, 2010. Creative proposals may be up to 500 words.