special projects


1. Look at every New Yorker cover drawn by Spiegelman and prepare a report for us that is both a summary and analysis of these. If you can include images of some of the more important covers in your report (either by inserting the actual images or by providing links to images on the web), please do. (DUE 2/04) Simone
2. Prepare a brief history of the graphic novel and describe (and assess) Spiegelman’s influence on the genre. Notice that another project entails working with Raw specifically, so don't spend too much space or time on that, but refer to Raw if you feel you must. (DUE 2/11) Lily
3. Prepare a brief history of Raw and be sure to describe Spiegelman's role in its formation and publication, and be sure also to include summaries of the careers of Chris Ware, Kaz, Gary Panter, and others. How does Maus follow or flow from the work of Raw (to the extent that it does)? (DUE 2/11) Michael Tom
4. Read the transcript (published in the Village Voice) of the symposium about Spielberg's film, Schindler's List, and create a detailed summary of the various panelists' response to it, including especially Spiegelman's. Be sure to give us a complete summary and analysis of Spiegelman on Spielberg. To prepare for this project, you will need to watch or re-watch Schindler's List. (DUE 1/28) Jane
5. Consider the whole range of written/narrative responses to the Holocaust, and attempt to describe how Maus fits (and/or does not fit). What are the ways in which Maus is very much a part of the literature of/about the Holocaust? What are common issues, problems, approaches, and means of dealing with the problem of representation? (DUE 1/28) Lauren
6. Read Little Lit and other children’s stories (e.g. Open Me, I’m a Dog) and write a report that summarizes this genre of his work, keeping in mind that most of the rest of us will never have read this material. Introduce us to it. Summarize, describe and assess. (Is this similar to other writing for children?) How does reading this kind of work by Spiegelman broaden/enhance/change your overall perception of him after having read his work geared toward adult audiences? (DUE 2/4) Jessica
7. Read Art Spiegelman: Conversations in the Conversations With Comic Artists series, edited by Joseph Witek, and report to us on these interviews and discussions. How does what AS says here shed light on the works and topics we're facing in our discussions of him. Write in such a way that will help those of us who will not be reading this book understand its contents. Here's a link to the book. (DUE 2/4) Andy
8. Read Lynne Sharon Schwartz's novel Referred Pain and write a summary and analysis of the book of the sort that will help those of us who will not have a chance to read it but will want to know how it relates to the works we are reading. (DUE 2/25) Mingo
9. Read Lynne Sharon Schwartz's novel In the Family Way and write a summary and analysis of the book of the sort that will help those of us who will not have a chance to read it but will want to know how it relates to the works we are reading. (DUE 2/25) Ellie
10. Read Lynne Sharon Schwartz's novel Balancing Acts and write a summary and analysis of the book of the sort that will help those of us who will not have a chance to read it but will want to know how it relates to the works we are reading. (DUE 3/3) Whitney
11. Read Lynne Sharon Schwartz's novel The Fatigue Artist and write a summary and analysis of the book of the sort that will help those of us who will not have a chance to read it but will want to know how it relates to the works we are reading. (DUE 3/3) Thomson
12. Read Schwartz's translation of Smoke Over Birkenau, by Liana Millu, a memoir of a survivor of Birkenau. Then read the essay about the making of this translation in Face to Face. Write a report that presents Millu's memoir in such a way that those of us who will not read it can make sense of it, especially in the context of Schwartz's struggles with the translation. And answer this: given what you know from reading Schwartz's own work, why do you think this particular Holocaust memoir was the one for her to translate? (DUE 3/17) Danny
13. Arrange to spend at least an hour talking with Max Apple about Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Interview him and find out as much as you can about his friendship with Schwartz, his views on her writing, etc. What kind of person is Schwartz? Does she teach writing? What can you find out from Max about her method of writing? How does she deal with readers who offer interpretations of her work? (DUE 3/3) Sam
14. This project is for two people who have at least a little experience making audio recordings and editing digital audio. Get lots of audio of the Fellows project this semester - classes, informal discussions, the Fellows' visits, etc. - and present to us at the end of the semester: (a) a single edited audio memoir of the course; (b) lots of individual mp3 audio files of discussion, interviews with participants, etc. (Jamie-Lee will help you with the details of this project.) (DUE 4/21) Cat and Steve
15. Look deeply (as it were) into Jerome Rothenberg's brief but perhaps important involvement with the "Deep Image" movement in poetics in the early 1960s. Write a report that summarizes what Deep Image was or is, and who was involved, and how Rothenberg entered and that departed that scene. Was there any connection between that experience and his later involvements in poetic movements? (DUE 4/7) Jen
16. This is a big and important one. What is "ethnopoetics" and what has been Rothenberg's involvement with and championing of it? Read through Technicians of the Sacred (an anthology) and Seneca Journal (a book of his poems deeply affected by his ethnopoetics). Read through the critical book In Search of the Primitive. In your report, describe these books; summarize what ethnopoetics was and is, what Rothenberg's involvement with it has meant to him and others; outline the politics and political ethics of this movement. And at some point answer this question too: Do Rothenberg's "Jewish" poems participate in ethnopoetics? Is a book like Poland 1931 part of the ethnopoetics aesthetic? (DUE 3/31) Yumeko
17. Conduct an extensive (lots of back and forth) interview by email with Jerry Rothenberg himself. Have at least one phone talk with him (if he will permit it) and lots of email. Write a report that describes these topics and any others that seem relevant: (1) his involvements at the University of California at San Diego, where he was a formative figure at a new university; where he was involved with struggles of various kinds in the 1960s; where he was involved more with a visual arts program than with a literature program; where he taught courses (which ones? what was his pedagogy?); where he worked closely with David Antin; (2) his teaching in general (what is his pedagogy?), mentioned already above; (3) his political radicalism in all its forms, directly political but also in the world of art and poetics; and (4) his support of young poets, which is legendary. Al and Jamie-Lee will help you get in touch with JR. (DUE 4/21) Mara
18. Interview Bob Perelman, Charles Bernstein, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Marjorie Perloff at least by email, if not by phone and in-person meetings. Find out from each what Jerome Rothenberg's personage and poetry mean to them. What is his reputation? What is their sense of his place and/or importance? What do they feel we should learn from studying and meeting JR? (DUE 4/14) Blair
19. This report fully examines Jerome Rothenberg's understanding of - his preferred version of - modernism. It is not quite the typical main narrative of modernism - akin to it, but also different. It's more international, for one. It's more political, for another. It focuses much more than the usual story of modernism on alternative book art, on alternative typography, on sound (the sound of the poet's voice, chanting, ritual, etc.), on concrete innovation, on the revolution of the word. Read through Revolution of the Word and the two-volume Poems of the Millennium and try to get a sense of JR's modernist canon (and compare it, as you can, to the more typical modernist canon). Also look at JR's own book of poems, Gematria as a good instance of the revolution of the word in his hands. Write a summary of all this for us. (Note: The student who writes this report will be exempt from reading New Selected Poems.) (DUE 4/14) Matt
20. This report focuses on Jerome Rothenberg's interest in the book as a physical object, on book art, on the poetics of the book as a part of the poem, etc. Read around widely in this area (e.g. Johanna Drucker) but be sure to focus on JR's own Book of the Book and The Book, spiritual instrument. (DUE 3/31) Alex

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