This course challenges students to write the world that does not yet exist. Or, as poet and theorist of radical black performance Fred Moten does, we will try to engage in writing that "investigates new ways for people to get together and do stuff in the open, in secret." Each week we’ll work individually and collaboratively on writing experiments—prose, poetry, creative non-fiction—that critique and advance beyond our own assumptions about what is socially possible or probable and that do so by paying careful attention to the rhythms of past and current events. As a basis for this creative production, we will engage critically with writers whose work exists at the point where the border between politics and art, future and past, ruptures, including Juliana Spahr, M. NourbeSe Philip and CAConrad. In sound, in sight, and through a kind of "improvisatory ensemble" (as Moten puts it) we will resist what too often gets counted as the inevitable outcome of a political economy that treats people as objects that just happen to speak. What is inevitable about the future, and what is it about controlled acts of creative improvisation that helps us not just "guess at" but hear our future’s past?
Course Reference Numbers
Arts, activism, graduate study