Anthro-Poetics: Living, Seeing, and Wonder
We will “sing the [world] electric” through experiments in anthro-poetics. Our goal: to expand both our seeing and writing practices, by estranging the familiar and deestranging the hitherto unknown. We will adventure together into wonder by bringing brief excerpts of philosophical texts in conversation with ethnographic explorations in the world. Together we will extend your anthropological imagination and find the right craft tools to enact moments of seeing the world new. Read about sound vibrating through the body, and then create a poem by generating a soundscape in a neighborhood you’ve never explored before. Read about the secret life of objects, then wander through an outdoor market: poem-trace your oranges back to the grove, while considering a syntax for their migratory arc. This intensive class brings together the tools of anthropology (both theoretical and ethnographic) and of poetry (in particular sonics and syntax) to create an explosion. You’ll read widely: Marx on commodities and Kant on the sublime; Jim Longenbach on the line and Ellen Voigt on syntax; and poems, from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Yusuf Komunyakaa to Jorie Graham. At the end of the week, each student will meet with the instructor over Skype, to discuss their work and their potential directions for the future. This class is best suited to a more advanced student, with prior workshop experience.