Document 31: Zero Hour

Just published
in an interdisciplinary,
transnational essay collection

Barrett Watten, “Zero Hour/Stunde Null:
Destruction and Universals at Mid Century”

in Die Amerikanische Reeducation-Politik
Nach 1945: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven
auf “America’s Germany,” Katharina Gerund
and Heike Paul, eds. (Bielefeld: transcript
Verlag, 2015); for more information click here

With Herbert Sirois, Michael Hochgeschwender,
Frank Mehring, Jeanpaul Goergen, Philipp Baur,
Reinhild Kreis, Dorottya Ruisz, Dieter Meindl,
Phillip Beard, Werner Sollors, Winfried Fluck

from the introduction:

Barrett Watten problematisiert die Vorstellung einer Stunde Null als politisches und als ästhetisches Konzept aus der Perspektive eines “radical historicism,” der konsistente und wohlgeformte Erklärungen und Narrative zugunsten von Brüchen, Krisen und Kontingenzen in Frage stellt. Die Stunde Null wird als metahistorisches Ereignis verstanden, das vor allem hinsichtlich seiner verschiedenen Repräsentationen und deren kultureller Arbeit untersucht wird. Watten identifiziert retrospektive, antizipatorische und punktuelle Konstruktionen des historischen Moments in literarischen und visuellen Darstellungen und setzt diese in Beziehung zu dem historischen ‘Ereignis.’ Er untersucht exemplarisch die antizipierte Zerstörung als poetisches Prinzip in den Werken von William Carlos Williams sowie die retrospektive Konstruktion der Stunde Null in dem Film Judgement at Nuremberg (1961, Regie: Stanley Kramer) und in den Fotografien von Lee Miller. Er illustriert anhand dieser Beispiele seine zentrale These, dass Zerstörung die notwendige Vorbedingung des Universellen ist” (introduction, p. 15). [Translation t/k]

Document 30: Digital Archive

archive cover

 

 

Wesleyan University Press
announces publication of

Poetics Journal Digital Archive
ed. Barrett Watten and Lyn Hejinian

A complete collection of key texts in the
development of contemporary poetics

 

 

 


Poetics Journal Digital Archive is a resource that re-publishes virtually all of the articles originally published in Poetics Journal, organized alphabetically by author and in searchable form. The archive features indexes by contributors, original publication volume, and keywords.

The archive was designed to be used with A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982–98, an anthology that includes thirty-six articles selected from the run of the journal, organized in three chronological sections, along with comprehensive introductions by both editors, contextualizing headnotes, publication history, keywords, abstracts, and bibliographies for each article.

Together, the Guide and Archive comprise a print/digital publication that will make the best use of both media. Some of the essays published in the Guide are abridged versions of the originals, and readers will find the complete versions in the Archive. Nearly all the articles published over the life of Poetics Journal are included.

The writing that appeared in Poetics Journal reflects the development of a range of ongoing creative and critical approaches in avant-garde poetry and art. In making this content newly available, we hope to preserve the generative enthusiasm for innovative writing and art it represents, while encouraging new uses and contexts.


… More

Event 49: Tomb of Fourier

Maquette of destroyed statue of Charles Fourier

Modern Language Association
Vancouver, Canada
8–11 January 2015

371. The Surrealist Enlightenment
Presiding: Jonathan P. Eburne, Penn State University, University Park

1. “Material Wonder as Catalyst for the Surrealist Collection,” Katherine Conley, Coll. of William and Mary
2. “Thanks for the Memories: The Repetitions of De Chirico’s The Disquieting Muses,” Joanna Fiduccia, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
3. “Sapere imaginare: Surrealism and Quantum Physics,” Nathalie Fouyer, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
4. “Light of the Image @ Four Corners: Breton’s Ode to Charles Fourier,” Barrett Watten, Wayne State Univ.

The Other Fabulous Reading Series
The Long Haul Infoshop
Berkeley, California
2 January 2015; info here
with Brian Ang, Patricia Murphy, and Chelsea Tadeyeske

“The New 1–10

Introduction, Questions of Poetics (MS)
Zone LI (in Armed Cell 7) + The Grand Piano 10, 000–00
Zone LII + The Grand Piano 9, 000–00
Zone LII + The Grand Piano 8, 000–00
Zone LIII + The Grand Piano 7, 000–00
Zone LIV + The Grand Piano 6, 000–00
Zone LV + The Grand Piano 5, 000–00
Zone LVI + The Grand Piano 4, 000–00
Zone LVII + The Grand Piano 3, 000–00
Zone LVIII + The Grand Piano 2, 000–00
Zone LIX  + The Grand Piano 1, 000–00

(Thanks to Brian Ang for his reading of “Barrett Watten, 1999“)

 

Modernist Studies Association
University of Pittsburgh
6–9 November 2014

“Modernism @ Stunde Null: Lee Miller, Hannah Höch, and A Woman in Berlin

This presentation is a part of a larger project on the intersection of literary and visual modernism with the “moment” of destruction that ended World War II: Stunde Null or Zero Hour. A range of modernist poets—Eliot, Pound, Williams, H.D., Breton, and later Olson, Plath, Duncan, and others—interrogated universal ethical and aesthetic values through this “moment.” In this presentation, I read the literary and visual testimony of three women caught up in the moment of destruction as witnesses, victims, or even perpetrators. Lee Miller’s war journalism, published in Vogue through the war, is complemented by the traumatic record and reparative work of her war and Holocaust photography. Hannah Höch, the dada painter and collagist, emerged from internal exile outside of Berlin to participate in the first modernist exhibitions in the destroyed city after Stunde Null; these early exhibitions set the stage for the recuperation of modernism after its banishment and humiliation under Nazism. Finally, the anonymously authored A Woman in Berlin, documenting the survival strategies necessary in a climate of mass sexual predation by Soviet troops immediately after the defeat, may be read in relation to search for or skepticism about universal values in modernism. In each case, writing or art not only add their testimony to history but posit and test new ways of being during and after the experience of trauma—they are prospective and retrospective.

European Network for Avant-Garde
and Modernist Studies
University of Helsinki, Finland
29–31 August 2015

“Language Writing’s Concrete Utopia: From Leningrad to Occupy”

Language writing has a differential, both concrete and critical, relationship to the horizon of utopia—which, we should remember, is a “nonplace,” an alternative time and space that is only momently (or eventally) possible as lived experience. “Language” itself offers an expansive and holistic medium for poetry as a ground for combinatorial fantasy and potential agency that simultaneously invokes radical particularity, material opacity, spatial alterity, and temporal deferral; “language” is a poetic nonsite that may be powerfully transformative, if not finally utopian, in its radical potential. In this paper, I will chart the relationship of Language writing to the horizon of utopia at four specific moments: 1) in its development of poetic practice in radical formal terms, as a social formation, and as a collective practice (seen in terms of the material history of its publications and performances); 2) on the occasion of four Language writers’ participation in a conference on avant-garde poetics in Leningrad, in the former Soviet Union at the end of Perestroika (1989), and our subsequent multi­auth­ored account, Leningrad: American Writers in the Soviet Union (1991); 3) with the completion of the multiauthored The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography by ten Language writers who met in San Francisco in the 70s (2006–10); and 4) after the performance and reception of The Grand Piano in a series of readings in the Bay Area during the Occupy movement of 2011 and the convergence of certain tendencies of the Occupy movement with avant-garde poetries such as Language writing. The convergence of Language writing with the events of Occupy, and their continuation as a radical democratic, anticapitalist politics, is an exemplary instance of concrete utopia.

 

Expanded Writing:poster
A Postscript Symposium
19 July 2014
(after On Kawara)

Jessica Pressman
Nick Montfort
Monica de la Torre
Jennifer Wild
Christian Bök
Laura McGrath
Elizabeth Floyd
Justus Nieland
Yesomi Umolu
Marcus Merritt
… More

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wystan Curnow and Portrait of Betty Curnow by Rita Angus, 1942, Auckland. Photo: BW

University of Otago, Dunedin
University of Auckland
9–15 July 2014
(with Carla Harryman)

Jacob Edmond
Sally Ann McIntyre
Campbell Walker
Kim Pieters
Catherine Dale

Murray Edmond
Michelle Leggott
Wystan Curnow
Roger Horrocks
Greg Kan
Ya-wen Ho

Kate Lilley, Chinese restaurant, Sydney. Photo: BW

Kate Lilley, Sydney. Photo: BW

Experimental: A Symposium
on Experimental Writing
University of Sydney
7–8 July 2014
(with Carla Harryman)

Luke Harley
Karen Burckhardt
Kate Lilley
Melissa Hardie
Lyn Hejinian
Kate Fagan
Ann Vickery
Andy Carruthers
Astrid Lorange
Pam Brown
… More

China

Ancient Chinese Ceramics Gallery. Museum catalogue. Shanghai: Shanghai Museum, n.d.
Chen Haiwen, ed. Old Industries in Shanghai. Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, 2010.
Childhood Friends Getting Fat: Moving Image of Liu Xiaodong, 1984-2014. Exhibition guide. Shanghai: Minsheng Art Museum, 2014.
Chinese Calligraphy Gallery. Museum catalogue. Shanghai: Shanghai Museum, n.d.
Huang Yan. Yan Ink: Ink Research Series. Exhibition guide. Shanghai: Leo Gallery, 2014.
Huang Yaping. Sun Yat-Sen in Shanghai. Trans. Pan Qin. Shanghai: Shanghai Century Publishing Co., 2010.
Köppel-Yang, Martina, ed. Advance through Retreat. Exhibition guide. Shanghai: Rockbund Art Museum, 2014.
Li Dong. Beginner’s Chinese Dictionary. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2004.
Ming Yang Pei, ed. Chinese Propaganda Poster Collection. Shanghai: Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center, 2013.
Shanghai Lady Postcards. Shanghai: Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center, n.d.
… More