Paul Benzon will deliver the 2022–23 Babcock Lecture at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 in the Eaton Lounge of Bresee Hall at Hartwick College.
“The Poetics and Politics of the Paralegible”
What are the politics of writing—not at the level of language and discourse, but rather at the level of materiality and of the inscriptive mark itself? What might approaching writing as a material, visual practice have to tell us about issues of cultural identity, history, and power.
In the 2022–23 Babcock Lecture, Paul Benzon will explore these questions through a discussion of a mode of experimental writing he calls the paralegible. As the term suggests, the paralegible exists in the liminal space between the legible and the illegible, troubling the relations between the mark and the letter, the visible and the invisible. Simultaneously conjuring the desire to read and refusing that desire, it foregrounds questions of writing, authorship, and the textual trace. Turning to recent work by three artists—Renee Gladman, Hương Ngô, and Shirin Salehi—Benzon will show how the paralegible activates the political potentialities of writing that is at odds with language.
Paul Benzon (he/him/his) is an assistant professor in the English Department at Skidmore College, where he also teaches courses in the Media and Film Studies Program. He is the author of Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021), and his writing has appeared in College Literature, electronic book review, Media-N, Narrative, and PMLA. His current project, from which this talk is drawn, considers how contemporary literary and artistic experimentations with print textuality, the book as an object, and textual and alphabetic design reckon with questions of historical trauma and social justice.
The third poem in my “Archives” series, “Archives of Winter,” is out in The Decadent Review; spring is forthcoming. (“Archives of Winter” originally appeared at Dispatches for the Poetry Wars, and was reprinted in the Poetics for the More-than-Human-World anthology.)
Nuclear and Environmental
Max Bearak, Raymond Zhong, and Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud, “Deadly Floods Devastate an Already Fragile Pakistan.”
Katie Rogers and David E. Sanger, “Biden Calls the ‘Prospect of Armageddon’ the Highest since the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
David Wallace-Wells, “The World Took a Bold, Toothless Step Forward on Climate Justice” and “Beyond Catastrophe: A New Climate Reality Is Coming into View.”
Somini Sengupta, “‘A Reason to Act Faster’: World Leaders Meet on Climate Amid Other Crises.”
Max Bearak, “Climate Pledges Are Falling Short, and a Chaotic Future Looks More Like Reality.”
Brad Plumer, Max Bearak, Lisa Friedman, and Jenny Gross, “UN Climate Talks End with a Deal to Pay Poor Nations for Damage.”
Catrin Einhorn, “Researchers Report a Staggering Decline in Wildlife. Here’s How to Understand It.”
This spring, the Faculty Development Committee and the Office of Academic Affairs at Hartwick College will present three more speakers in its annual Faculty Lecture Series.
All talks take place at during the common hour: 12:20–1:15 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall at Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York.
Zachary McKenney, “The Ruling Class Does Rule: Reflections on the UAW-Volkswagen Labor Organizing Campaign,” Friday, February 17, 2023.
Ana Laura González, “The Sonic Identity and the Recording Journey: Is There One Way to Get It Right?” Friday, March 10, 2023.
Kyle Burke, “The Rise and Radicalization of the Transatlantic Far Right,” Friday, April 14, 2023.
For more information, visit the Faculty Lecture Series webpage.
The second poem in my “Archives” series, “Archives of Autumn,” is out in The Decadent Review. Winter and spring are forthcoming.
For this year’s Modern Language Association Convention, to be held January 5–8, 2023 in San Francisco, California, I organized and will be speaking on a roundtable on Twenty-First-Century Forms, along with Daniel Burns, Zoe Bursztajn-Illingworth, Kathryn Harlan-Gran, Kevin Pyon, and Elizabeth Sotelo. I have included the information about the panel and, below that, full abstracts from each speaker.
197. Twenty-First-Century Forms
Friday, January 6, 2023, 8:30–9:45 a.m. (PST)
If one might argue that the novel and lyric poem have become residual forms, what literary forms are emerging in contemporaneity? Panelists explore emergent literary forms of the twenty-first century and their relationship with, instantiation in, or remediation by other (digital) media: film, documentary, social media, publishing platforms, transmedia, autotheory, and other hybrid narrative and poetic forms.
Dan Burns (Elon University)
Bradley J. Fest (Hartwick College)
Zoe Bursztajn-Illingworth (The University of Texas at Austin)
Kathryn Harlan-Gran (Cornell University)
Kevin Pyon (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg)
Elizabeth Sotelo (University of Oregon)
Bradley Fest (Hartwick College)
This coming fall semester looks like it will be as close to “normal” as it’s been in some time. I’m teaching some familiar creative writing classes that I usually teach in the fall (syllabi below), and filling in for the first half of the semester in our ENGL 101 Writing Tutorial class (syllabus not included). I will again also be teaching our methods course for senior theses in creative writing (ENGL 489).
ENGL 213 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL 312 Intermediate Poetry Workshop
This year, Hartwick College and the Department of Literature, Media, and Writing will present four readings in the 2022–23 Visiting Writers Series. Readings take place at 7:00 or 7:30 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.
All campus visitors, including attendees at campus-based public events, must have up to date vaccinations for COVID-19. The College reserves the right to require masks on an event-by-event basis.
Poet Raena Shirali will read on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 7:30 p.m., including from her new book summonings (Black Lawrence, forthcoming 2022).
Fiction writer Tessa Yang will read from her brand new collection, The Runaway Restaurant (7.13, forthcoming October 2022) on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Fiction writer, poet, and game designer Julian K. Jarboe will read from their work on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.
And poet and nonfiction writer Sten Carlson will read from his work on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.
For more information, visit the Visiting Writers Series webpage.
You can view all twenty-nine entries in the “Links in the Time of Coronavirus” series (March 11, 2020–August 15, 2022) under “Categories” or by visiting this link: https://bradleyjfest.com/category/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/.