Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spring Course 2011 (description)

For those interested, either because you read the course blog or because, and especially, you are a student at Evergreen, here's what's up for spring. Special thanks to those participants in Nonsite Collective's project on the commons, including those such as Kaia Sand, who have contributed to commoning discourses over at Nonsite at other times, under different--of course quite connected--curricula.

Experiments in Text: Art And The Reclamation Of Public Spaces

Faculty: David Wolach

Days & Times: 5-7p Wed & 4-6p Sat

Location: TBA

Enrollment: 24

Web Site: Course Blog: David's Public Text Arts & Politics Blog:

This course will focus on creative writing, but it will examine other art forms (critical writing, performance, visual arts and activist movements) that are concerned with the reclamation of public, lived spaces in the wake of increasing privatization and corporatization--creating "landscapes of dissent." From the investigation of institutions of education to artistic-activist collaborations, from treating the body as site of resistance to discussing its use and misuse as object to be commodified, we’ll ask whether art, and very often poetry, as poet and critic Thom Donovan writes, can “model the commons — how might [art and poetry] provide experiments in the practical organization against anti-democratic social hierarchies and the expropriation of labor, land, and natural resources?” We'll respond to this and similar questions by building individual text arts portfolios and by collaborating in small groups on more sustained text arts projects that seek to experiment, dissent and intervene.

Since one important function of this course will be to develop projects that can serve to both investigate and confront neoliberal (often corporate) enclosures, we'll be moving from the abstraction of the page to the streets. We'll therefore interrogate the “artistic” and "poetic" in relation to the “political,” stretching our understanding of both activism and creative writing. We will do this both by making our own creative works and by looking at the examples provided by other writers, visual artists, and scholars, such as Jules Boykoff & Kaia Sand, CA Conrad & Frank Sherlock, Robert Kocik & Daria Fain, Kristin Prevallet, Laura Elrick, Amy Balkin, Sylvia Federici, Juliana Spahr, Stephanie Young, Jacques Ranciere, Karl Marx, George Oppen, Brenda Coultas, Tonya Foster, Stephen Collis, The Situationists, Nonsite Collective, and several others. This course will build on some of the material introduced in “Experiments in Text: Transgressive Art & Transgressive Bodies” (Winter 2011), but it is notnecessary to have taken the previous course—nor is it necessary to have any prior experience in creative writing, art, or literary-critical theory. This is an all-level course.

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