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4pm Are Texts Alive?

March 23, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This reading group aims to stoke a radical imagination for our times of heightened environmental anxieties by de-centering ‘the human’ from texts. On one level, we are interested in engaging texts—especially short stories, poems, and new digital platforms—that reshuffle (or dissolve) agency and subjecthood out of the orbit of anthropocentrism and into messy, queer, speculative and decolonial subjectscapes of the nonhuman. We ask: how can different forms of textuality open up multiple, contradictory worlds of perception in which ends become islands sprouting possibilities of adaptation and multi-species co-habitation? On another level, we are curious to collectively explore how texts are alive through us – that is, how do we metabolise what we read into how we perceive, feel and live the world? How might exploring these two frames together lead us to think differently about whether or not texts are, in fact, alive? We will explore these questions, both textual and embodied, through a flexible reading list, featuring a short story, selection of poems or online game/film per fortnight, as well as by inviting participants to share poems they feel might be relevant.

For more information please contact Prof. Stephanie Posthumus in the Department of Languages, Literatures, Cultures: stephanie.posthumus@mcgill.ca, Fern Thompsett: fern.thompsett@mail.mcgill.ca, or Katarzyna Van Schaik: kasia.vanschaik@mail.mcgill.ca

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017  Time:  16:00 – 18:00
Location: IPLAI
Texts for discussion: Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love (2013); Annie Dillard, “Total Eclipse,”  Teaching a Stone to Talk (2013); Orhan Pamuk, My Name Is Red  (1998)



March 23, 2017
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


3610 McTavish, 2nd floor
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y2 Canada
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