Please join the Visual Culture Workshop
for discussion of work-in-progress:
“Experimental Subjectivity and the Immaterial in Bernadette Mayer’s Memory“
PhD candidate, English Language and Literature
Thursday, January 27 @ 12:30 pm
3154 Angell Hall
Lunch will be served
In July 1971, experimental poet Bernadette Mayer’s shot 1,116 photographs. She then wrote an accompanying 195 pages of dense prose poetry to create the hybrid visual-language project Memory. Though Mayer considered Memory to be an objective collection of data solidly based on artifacts, I see it as a work haunted by absence and suffused with subjectivity. By drawing out these ghostly threads, I reposition Mayer as a poet who loses faith in the concrete and thus abandons her pursuit of ‘materializing’ language. Instead, I contend, she forged a unique poetics of experimental affect in which the self acts as site and, in doing so, opened this path to a generation of avant-garde writers.
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