Master’s Program in Aesthetics and Politics

Interventions Lecture Series

The Interventions lecture series is a year-long graduate course offered to first-year MA Aesthetics and Politics and MFA Creative Writing students. All lectures are free, open to the public and begin at 7 pm in Butler Building #4 on the CalArts campus except where otherwise noted.


CSGR100: Interventions: The Wor(l)ding Project 

Can writers and theorists still intervene in the world? How do they make, break and re-make worlds? Do words have more or less value in a world governed by code—in a networld? While the term “intervention” originated in the realm of the spiritual, we now tend to associate it with the political—with military and humanitarian intervention. But what of the literary or critical intervention that strives to reestablish the connection between words and worlds through the act of social imagination—that would revive the practice of “wor(l)ding”? Team-taught by MFA Creative Writing and MA Aesthetics and Politics faculty and organized around the visits of six invited speakers, this course will address these questions through presentations, seminar discussions, workshops, public debates, creative and critical writing, and the curation of a blog/book. 

The course meets once per week and is team-taught by a member of the MFA and a member of the MA program and focuses on the work of six to eight invited speakers, tied together by a common theme. In Fall 2013, the course will be co-taught by Janet Sarbanes and Arne De Boever. In Spring 2014, Amanda Beech and Arne De Boever will co-teach the course. 

Fall 2013

World 1: Lisa Duggan

September 24th, 7pm, BB4 (Butler Building) 

Lisa Duggan is professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is the author of Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence and American Modernity (2000), co-author (with Nan D. Hunter) of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture (1995), and co-editor (with Lauren Berlant) of Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest (2001). Her most recent book is Twilight of Equality?: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy (2003).

World 2: Renee Gladman

October 22nd, 7pm, BB4 (Butler Building) 

Renee Gladman is assistant professor of Literary Arts at Brown University. She received a B.A. in philosophy from Vassar College, and a Master’s degree in poetics from New College of California. She is the author of six works of prose, and one collection of poetry. Since 2005, she has operated Leon Works, an independent press for experimental prose and other thought-projects based in the sentence, making occasional forays into poetry.

World 3: Lydia Davis

November 12th, 7pm at Langley Hall in the main CalArts Building.

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections. Her collection A Variety of Stories was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award of Merit Medal, and was named a Chevalier of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers, including Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris, and Marcel Proust. She is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.

Spring 2014

World 4: Bruce Robbins

January 28th, 6pm, BB4 (Butler Building)

Bruce Robbins is the Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He works mainly in the areas of nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, literary and cultural theory, and postcolonial studies. He is the author of Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence (2012), Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State (2007), Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (1999), The Servant's Hand: English Fiction from Below (1986) and Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (1993). He has edited Intellectuals: Aesthetics, Politics, Academics (1990) and The Phantom Public Sphere (1993) and co-edited Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (1998). He was co-editor of the journal Social Text from 1991 to 2000. Robbins will be screening his film, Some of My Best Friends are Zionists, Q&A with Thomas Altheimer to follow.

World 5: giovanni singleton

March 4th, 7pm, BB4 (Butler Building)

giovanni singleton is a poet, teacher, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to the work of artists and writers of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. A recipient of a New Langton Bay Area Award Show for Literature, she frequently presents on writing, editing, and graphic design at schools and conferences, including the American Literature Association and Spelman College. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Cave Canem, and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. Her work has appeared on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and in Zen Monster, VOLT, Callaloo, Poet Lore, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology, What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, & Stories for Children, and I’ll Drown My Book: A Collection of Conceptual Writing. singleton has taught at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University, and in museums and schools throughout the San Francisco Bay area. 

World 6: Fred Moten

March 18th, 7pm, BB4 (Butler Building)

Known as a compelling and brilliant speaker and performer, Fred Moten works at the intersection of performance, poetry, and critical theory. Moten’s experimental style of poetry has led one editor to say, “There’s song and voice at the heart of his work, but it’s a new and complex song.” His books of poetry include Hughson’s Tavern, B.Jenkins, and The Feel Trio. He is also the author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition and The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (with Stefano Harney). Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, Moten is Theorist in Residence for the Spring 2014 semester in CalArts’ MA Aesthetics and Politics program.

BONUS World: Ian Bogost

April 1st, 7pm, BB4 (Butler Building)

Ian Bogost is an award-winning author and game designer whose work focuses on videogames and computational media. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. In addition, Bogost is Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio. His research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on political games and artgames.

Last edited by adeboever on Jan 13, 2014
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