Composition and Compresence: A Workshop for a We
Led by Jaime Shearn Coan
Date: Saturday, September 14
Capacity: 15 participants
Cost: $50-90 (sliding scale)
"We can never simply be the ‘we’ understood as a unique subject, or understood as an indistinct ‘we’ that is like a diffuse generality. 'We’ always expresses a plurality, expresses ‘our’ being divided and entangled." (Jean-Luc Nancy)
In this workshop, we will try on various practices that mobilize language as a vector for knowing and unknowing each other. How does language travel from body to body? How does language affect, alter, create, validate a body? We will move between being spectators and performers to being translators and interpreters and editors to being an entangled mass of awkward angles and odd syntactical twists. We will attempt to invite in pleasure, erotics, confusion, and frustration. In passing language and interpretation between us, we will visibilize and challenge what often happens without our consent as we are read in the streets, on stages and on pages. We will co-create without attempting to produce a unitary voice or narrative. No experience in writing or performing necessary, only a willingness to experiment and contribute to this temporary collective structure.
Jaime Shearn Coan is a writer, editor, and PhD Candidate in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he is completing a dissertation titled "Metamorphosis Theater: Performance at the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Race, and Sexuality." A current 2019-2020 CUNY/Schomburg Center Archival Dissertation Year Fellow, Jaime previously served as a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow at The Center for the Humanities, CUNY and has taught literature, composition, and creative writing at City College, Hunter College, and Queens College, CUNY. Jaime’s writing has appeared in publications including TDR: The Drama Review, Critical Correspondence, Drain Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Movement Research Performance Journal, Gulf Coast, On Curating, Women & Performance, and Bodies of Evidence: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics of Movement. Jaime is a co-editor of the Danspace Project 2016 Platform catalogue: Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now and author of the chapbook Turn it Over, published by Argos Books.
Image: Tuesday Smillie, Sometimes, 2016. Textile, 49 x 108 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.
Caribbean Poetry in Translation
Workshop led by Raquel Salas Rivera
Saturday, September 28, 2-5pm
Capacity: 15 participants
Cost: $50-90 total (sliding scale)
This class will focus on Caribbean poetry and translation practices. Participants will engage in a variety of linguistic and extralinguistic translations. All will be asked to examine how translation mediates colonial relations. We will be working with texts by Kaiama Glover, Frankétienne, Urayoán Noel, Carina del Valle Schorske, Gaddiel Francisco Ruiz Rivera, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Nicole Delgado, Mara Pastor, Aaron Coleman, and others.
Raquel Salas Rivera is the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. They are the inaugural recipient of the Ambroggio Prize, for their book x/ex/exis, and the Laureate Fellowship, both from the Academy of American Poets. They have received fellowships and residencies from the Sundance Institute, the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, the Arizona Poetry Center, and CantoMundo. From 2016-2018, they edited The Wanderer and Puerto Rico en mi corazón, a collection of bilingual broadsides of contemporary Puerto Rican poets. They are also the author of six chapbooks and five full-length poetry books. Their fourth book, lo terciario/the tertiary, was on the 2018 National Book Award Longlist, was selected by Remezcla, Entropy, Literary Hub, mitú, Book Riot, and Publishers Weekly as one of the best poetry books of 2018, and is a Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. Their fifth book, while they sleep (under the bed is another country), was published by Birds, LLC in 2019. They received their Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Raquel loves and lives for Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, and a world free of white supremacy.
Esta clase estará dedicada a la poesía caribeña y a prácticas de traducción. Los participantes se verán involucrados en una variedad de traducciones lingüísticas y extralingüísticas. Se pedirá a todos que examinen cómo el acto de traducir media relaciones coloniales. Trabajaremos con textos de Kaiama Glover, Frankétienne, Urayoán Noel, Carina del Valle Schorske, Gaddiel Francisco Ruiz Rivera, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Nicole Delgado, Mara Pastor, Aaron Coleman y otros.
Raquel Salas Rivera es la Poeta Laureada de la ciudad de Filadelfia del 2018-19. Fue la recipiente inaugural del Premio Ambroggio, por su libro x/ex/exis y la Beca de Laureada, ambos de la Academia de Poetas Americanos. Es la recipiente de becas del Instituto Sundance, el Centro Kimmel para las Artes Performáticas, el Centro de Poesía de Arizona y CantoMundo. Del 2016-2018 sirvió de editora para la revista literaria The Wanderer y Puerto Rico en mi corazón, una colección bilingüe de volantes de poetas puertorriqueños contemporáneos. Cuenta con la publicación de seis plaquetas y cinco poemarios. Su cuarto libro, lo terciario/the tertiary, fue finalista para el Premio Nacional del Libro del 2018, fue seleccionado por Remezcla, Entropy, Literary Hub, mitú, Book Riot y Publishers Weekly como uno de los mejores poemarios del 2018 y es finalista para el Premio Literario Lambda a una obra de poesía transgénero del 2019. Su quinto poemario, while they sleep (under the bed is another country), fue publicado por por Birds, LLC en el 2019. Recibió su Doctorado en Literatura Comparada y Teoría Literaria de la Universidad de Pensilvania. Raquel ama y vive por Puerto Rico, Filadelfia y un mundo libre de la supremacía blanca.
Photo credit: Paloma Alicea
Kafka's Animal Stories
Seminar with Anelise Chen
Dates: Thursdays, October 3-17
Capacity: 15 participants
Cost: $90-$180 (sliding scale, $30-50/session)
One morning, some years ago, the instructor of this course awoke to find herself transformed into a clam. This event triggered an extended survey into all varieties of animal tales as she sought understand what happened to her. Why had others before her assumed animal forms? What precipitated their enchantment or disenchantment? Was there some hidden poetic logic at play?
It seems any exploration into metamorphosis must begin with Franz Kafka and his canonical story—“Metamorphosis”—about a man who turns into a cockroach. However, Kafka also wrote several other stories featuring non-human narrators, including “A Report to the Academy,” narrated by a cultivated monkey exhausted by the arbitrary cruelty of human society, to “The Burrow” about a fearful, paranoid animal enclosed in his own elaborate tunnels of reason. Over the course of three weeks, we will read and discuss five of these stories and look at the various cultural works these animal stories have since inspired.
As Donna Haraway has said: We polish an animal mirror to look at ourselves. This course offers a postscript: We become animal to become ourselves. What can we learn from becoming our animal kin? Moments of metamorphosis are risky and often violent, but in the aftermath, wondrous new shapes emerge. Perhaps at the conclusion of this course, we can begin to imagine our way into new paradigms, new bodies, and new ways of being, more fitting for the challenging times ahead.
- Instructor -
Anelise Chen is the author of So Many Olympic Exertions (Kaya Press, 2017), a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She is currently at work on a memoir, Clam Down (One World Random House), based on her mollusk column for the Paris Review. Chen’s essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, such as the NY Times, New Republic, Village Voice, and BOMB Magazine. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Blue Mountain Center, Banff Centre, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and she is currently a 2019-2020 Literature Fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Columbia University.
Image: Robert Crumb, Kafka, The Metamorphosis