Posts tagged "workshop"

Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 1: Nicola Masciandaro on Commentary

Thursday, May 19, 2011 
Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn 
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

Blogs, Speculative Medievalisms, Collapse, Cyclonopedia, Lovecraft, print-on-demand: the idea of “para-academia” has arisen in recent years as an addendum and an ultimatum to established disciplines and practices.

The Public School New York will explore these emerging ideas and modes of expression through a series of discussions and writing workshops.

Questioning the concept of the ‘marginal’, this session will consider commentary as a para-academic and theory-fictional mode of thinking and writing. Specific topics to be discussed include geometrics of commentarial thought, contemplation vs. speculation, hidden writing and acontextual scholarship, philological eros, and destructive reading. A theoretical introduction will be followed by open discussion of the texts and the futures of commentary.

Nicola Masciandaro is Associate Professor of English at Brooklyn College and a specialist in medieval literature. He is founding editor of Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary and co-director of the open-access press Punctum Books. For more information, see The Whim.

For related texts and more information, go to http://nyc.thepublicschool.org/class/3268

Audio from the second session in the series featuring Wythe Marschall on Gnostic Vertigo in Bataille and Lovecraft can be found here.

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Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 2: Wythe Marschall on Gnostic Vertigo in Bataille and Lovecraft (Audio is part one of two)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn 
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

The para is the “alongside,” that which comments on the official or normative. While academics debate the finer points of Shakespeare and Kant, para-academics aggregate around shadow-commentators whose works do not so much categorize (striate) and enlighten (bring light into) difficult terrain, but produce that terrain, creating obscure spaces and nebulous discourses that are immune to traditional academic approaches.

Blogs, speculative medievalisms, Cyclonopedia, Charles Fort, teratology, print-on-demand—these and other tentacles of a polycephalic (many-headed) para-academia have entwined to produce an addendum and, finally, an ultimatum to established disciplines and practices.

The second session of the Para-Academia & Theory Fiction series considered links between two highly disparate authors whose work during the 1920s and 30s concerned, among other things, the unspeakable, the limits of philosophy, heterology (study of extreme “Otherness”), and cosmic terror.

Though they were on different planets politically, French anti-philosopher Georges Bataille and American horror luminary Howard Phillips Lovecraft shared a common concern for the foundation of a new, materialist mythology that can see beyond Reason, reconnect man to the world of things (and shit, and horrible creatures), and speak to the unutterable terror of being alive—of being trapped on a ball of mud circling a much larger ball of fire hanging in a void. (The realization of this terror produces “gnostic vertigo.”)

Wythe Marschall is a writer and artist. He works in advertising during the week and teaches writing at Brooklyn College on the weekend. With illustrator Ethan Gould, Wythe is the founder of the Hollow Earth Society, a pacifist army, conceptual art movement, and para-academic educational network.

For related texts and more information, go to: http://nyc.thepublicschool.org/class/3448

Audio from the second part of the class can be found here.

Audio from the first session in the series featuring Nicola Masciandaro on Commentary can be found here.

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Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 2: Wythe Marschall on Gnostic Vertigo in Bataille and Lovecraft (Audio is part two of two)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn 
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

Information about Wythe and this class can be found in this related post.

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Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 3: Steve Aubrey on Nabokov, Coincidence and Otherwordliness (Audio is part one of two)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn 
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899-1977) is perhaps most famous for Lolita and Pale Fire, novels of startling linguistic and literary playfulness. But as his wife, Vera, wrote in a foreword to a collection of his poetry in 1979, the true watermark of Nabokov’s work is the concept of “potustoronnost” or otherwordliness. Though much of Nabokov’s work may seem straight-forward and realist, lurking underneath his fiction is an entire pantheon of ghosts, shades, demons and devils that comprise the true world of Nabokov’s writings. 

Stephen Aubrey descends from hardy New England stock. He is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, dramaturg, lecturer, storyteller and recovering medievalist. His writing has appeared in Publishing Genius, Commonweal, The Brooklyn Review, Pomp & Circumstance, Forté and The Outlet. He inexplicably holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Hollow Earth Society and is an instructor of English at Brooklyn College. 

He is also a co-founder and the resident dramaturg and playwright of The Assembly Theater Company. His plays have been produced at The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, The Flea Theater, The Collapsable Hole, The Brick Theater, Symphony Space, the Abingdon Theater Complex, UNDER St Marks, The Philly Fringe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where his original play, We Can’t Reach You, Hartford, was nominated for a 2006 Fringe First Award. 

He has an MFA from Brooklyn College where he received the Himan Brown Prize and the Ross Feld Writing Award and a BA with Honors from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. 

He is—for the record—not a Christian singer-songwriter. He does, however, hold the dubious distinction of having coined the word “playlistism” in 2003.

For more information, including the related readings and writing assignment, go to: http://nyc.thepublicschool.org/class/3562

Audio part two of this session can be found here.

Audio recordings of the entire series can be found here.

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Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 3: Steve Aubrey on Nabokov, Coincidence and Otherwordliness (Audio is part two of two)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn 
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

Information about Steve and this class can be found in this related post.

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Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 4: Ben Woodard on Complicitous Continuums: The Horrors of the Cosmicist Earth

Saturday, September 17, 2011
Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn 
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York

This course explores the Geo-philosophical earth as theory-fictional node for explaining a cosmicism/universalism in which the outside is continuously advancing upon all purportedly firm grounds and solid bodies. Weirdness, as in the weird of weird fiction and the darkness of dark romanticism and the crumble of the gothic, is explored as the intrusion of the non-local upon the local, arguing that all stability is in fact subject to continuous degradation, shift, and collapse. 

Ben Woodard is a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario. His work focuses on the concept of Nature in German Idealism, philosophies of becoming, contemporary philosophy, as well as in Weird and Speculative fiction. In addition to On an Ungrounded Earth, his book Slime Dynamics: Generation, Mutation, and the Creep of Life is forthcoming from Zer0 books. He blogs at Speculative Heresy and Naught Thought.

For more information, including the related readings and writing assignment, go to: http://nyc.thepublicschool.org/class/3562

Audio recordings of the entire series can be found here.

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Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 7: Jonathan Basile on A Crossing Without Borders: Death in the Thought of Jacques Derrida

Para-Academia & Theory Fiction | Session 7: Jonathan Basile on A Crossing Without Borders: Death in the Thought of Jacques Derrida (audio is part II of II)