Writing the Future at MOCA on Oct. 2

Christine Wertheim

Christine Wertheim, at left, leads her 'Womanhouse' class at CalArts.

In the past few years Christine Wertheim, chair of the MFA Writing Program in the School of Critical Studies, has organized four one or two-day conferences or symposia on a range of writing-related subjects held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

Previous conferences included: Feminaissance: a 2 day Meditation on Women, Writing, and Experimentation in 2008; a 2009 panel on Image and Text; and the day-long conference on Women, Art and Activism for International’s Women’s Day this past March.

On Saturday (Oct. 2) Wertheim–on behalf of the MFA Writing Program and the MA in Aesthetics and Politics Program at CalArts–will again host two panels and serve as moderator of one, in the day-long discussion: Writing the Future: A Symposium on The Future of Writing. The conversation will focus on the political, ethical, communal, institutional and aesthetic futures of writing and their likely affects on writers.

Participants  include:

  • Jodi Dean, a teacher of contemporary political theory and new media and the author or editor of 10 books, including Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies and Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive. Dean is co-editor of the journal Theory & Event;
  • John Keene, a writer, artist, translator, and author of Annotations and, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, of Seismosis. A longtime member of the Dark Room Writers Collective, and Fellow of Cave Canem, Keene’s awards include a 2005 Whiting Foundation Fellowship. He is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Northwestern University;
  • Mark McGurl, a Professor of English at UCLA, where he teaches classes in 20th and 21st-century American literature. His most recent book is The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing;
  • Heriberto Yépez, a writer, psychotherapist, and professor at the Art School in the Autonomous University of Baja California. Yépez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction, theory and criticism in Spanish. His English books include, Here is Tijuana!, a collaboration with anthropologist Fiamma Montezemolo and architect Rene Peralta, Babellebab: Non-Poetry on the End of Translation, and Wars. Threesomes. Drafts. & Mothers.
  • Juliana Spahr, is working on “a slightly paranoid critical book about the literature of the 1990s.” Spahr co-edits Chain Links with Jena Osman, and often writes essays with Stephanie Young. Co-organizer last summer of the 95 cent Skool with Joshua Clover, Spahr is also co-writing a book with David Buuck. (She admits that she “has trouble getting things done by herself.”)

Writing the Future: A Symposium on The Future of Writing
Saturday, Oct. 2 at 1 pm
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles
Admission is free

Writing the Future: Schedule and agenda

1-1:15 pm Introductory Address
1:15–3 pm Institutions, Communities, Genres and the Avant garde (or not)
John Keene, Mark McGurl, Juliana Spahr
Moderator: Matias Viegener
3-3:45 pm Break (coffee available at MOCA Café)
3:45-5:05 pm Politics, Ethics and Writing
Jodi Dean and Heriberto Yépez
Moderator: Christine Wertheim

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