2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Experiments in Text: Transgressive Art and Transgressive Bodies

Winter quarter

Faculty: David Wolach Creative Writing, Poetics, Aesthetics, Media/Performing Arts

Fields of Study: writing

Winter: CRN (Credit) Level 20355 (4)  

Credits: 4(W)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior

Offered During: Evening and Weekend

Academic Website: http://blogs.evergreen.edu/wolachd/


This course explores some of the complex cultural, personal, aesthetic, and political relationships between "transgressive" bodies and "transgressive" writing and art. What does it mean, in the West, for a body or for an artwork to trans-gress societal norms? We will look at contemporary work that takes the transgressive body—deemed sexually dangerous or deviant, for instance, or "dis-abled" and so "unfit" for work—to be a crucial site for social resistance, an "invisibility to be made visible" through collaborative/collective artistic practices, practices occurring often alongside or as protest. Though this is primarily a creative writing class, our writing will push itself outside its comfortable zones and usual modes of operation. Emphasis will be put on experiments in breaking genre and mixing media, collaborating on pieces as well as making individual works, developing a poetics in relation to the social. We will discuss and critique the rich tradition of "somatic" practices in the world of performance and live art, including the work of artists such as Marina Abramovic, but we will also explore important recent experiments in poetry and prose by authors such as Hannah Weiner, Kenneth Gaburo, and CAConrad. Students will work both individually and collectively to investigate the radical potential of the transgressive body through making several pieces of art-writing. Our end goal will be to curate a show and live reading that complicates our thinking and breaks down barriers of many kinds: formal barriers of the work itself, social barriers within the Evergreen campus, as well as that between Evergreen’s campus and the broader Olympia community.

This work will be an extension and reimagining of PRESS, a reading series devoted to the intersection of text arts and radical politics. For more on PRESS, check out the blog at: pressliterarypoliticsseries.blogspot.com/ And for more on David’s poetic and pedagogical experiments, check out his public website at davidwolach.blogspot.com/.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Advertised Schedule: 5-7p Wed, 4-6p Sat

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com