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Sunday, October 7 • 10:35am - 11:50am
Mixed Panel 8

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Kanika Agrawal, "Okazaki Fragments and the Poetics of (Dis)Continuity"
_Okazaki Fragments_, a manuscript in progress, is a science-fictional romance in prose, verse and graphics. It explores human and non-human varieties of relation and performance by adapting language, concepts and images from a series of sixteen scientific papers published between 1968 and 1977. The series, _Mechanism of DNA Chain Growth_, presents research on discontinuous DNA replication by the molecular biologists Reiji Okazaki and Tsuneko Okazaki and their scientific collaborators. Because very little biographical information about the Okazakis is available in English, I construct imagined events and experiences for Okazaki and Okazaki by reading their personal lives into (or out of) the scientific language of their papers. (I draw imagery also from various Japanese sources, particularly the works of photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, artist Katsushika Hokusai, and filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu, and from the grid prints and paintings of Agnes Martin.) In a rare, recent “personal recollection” of the Okazakis’ famous discovery, Tsuneko writes that “[her] research career overlaps with the history of Molecular Biology.” I extend her statement to consider how the Okazakis’ activities and relationships might not only overlap with the history of molecular biology but be legible in experiments that define some of that history. For my presentation, I propose to briefly explain discontinuous DNA replication, read from _Okazaki Fragments_, and show/perform some of the images adapted from the scientific papers.

Wojciech Drag, "The Art of/in Crisis: Collage in Twenty-First-Century Literature"
David Banash notes that collage is frequently evoked in contemporary literature as a metaphor for the “experience of a radically fragmented world.” The perception of a collage is similar to that of a disorienting reality marked by the dynamic flow of news, messages and consumer stimuli. Among the most important American practioners of collage – understood as a montage of fragmentary, heterogeneous material including appropriated content – have been David Markson, Maggie Nelson, Lance Olsen, David Shields and Steve Tomasula. Their works are informed by two contradictory desires which Banash sees as the quintessence of all collage: the critique embodied in the process of cutting and the nostalgia that underlies the act of gathering and pasting. The coexistence of progressive protest and a conservative longing for a whole, together with the incorporation of multiple voices, results in an inner disunity. Following Thomas L. Brockelman’s remark that collage is an art “in” as well as “of” crisis, I argue that crisis is a key notion to the form as well as content of twenty-first-century collage literature. In my paper, I will introduce my current research project (supported by the Kosciuszko Foundation) whose aims are to examine the poetics and politics of collage and to demonstrate that contemporary American literary collages can be interpreted as testimonies to the crises afflicting the new millennium, personal, sociopolitical and artistic. I will then focus on examining the crises represented in Steve Tomasula’s VAS: An Opera in Flatland and Olsen’s Head in Flames.

Scott Rettberg, "Histories and Genres of Electronic Literature"
This will be a 15-20 minute presentation of the book Electronic Literature, forthcoming from Polity in November 2018. The presentation will focus on connections between experimental traditions in print and forms of electronic literature such as poetry generators and hypertext fiction. It will consider the place of electronic literature in the landscape of contemporary creative writing programs and will include a reading of some short passages from the book. About the book: Electronic Literature considers new forms and genres of writing that exploit the capabilities of computers and networks – literature that would not be possible without the contemporary digital context.In this book, Rettberg places the most significant genres of electronic literature in historical, technological, and cultural contexts. These include hypertext fiction, combinatory poetics, interactive fiction (and other game-based digital literary work), kinetic and interactive poetry, and networked writing based on our collective experience of the Internet. Rettberg argues that electronic literature demands to be read both through the lens of experimental literary practices dating back to the early twentieth century and through the specificities of the technology and software used to produce the work. “Electronic Literature demonstrates rare common sense and an encyclopedic knowledge of works, theory, contexts, and criticism. This is a significant and important book by the field’s founder that will be the definitive work on electronic literature now and for many years to come.” --Katherine Hayles, Duke University


Kanika Agrawal

Kanika Agrawal is an Indian citizen and hybrid specimen developed across six countries on four continents. She studied biology at MIT, where she came to love restriction enzymes and fluorescent labeling. She earned an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a PhD in English/Creative... Read More →
avatar for Wojciech Drąg

Wojciech Drąg

University of Wroclaw
Wojciech Drag is Assistant Professor at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. He is the author of Revisiting Loss: Memory, Trauma and Nostalgia in the Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro (2014) and co-editor of War and Words: Representations of Military Conflict in Literature and the Media (2015... Read More →

Scott Rettberg

University of Bergen
Scott Rettberg is Professor of Digital Culture in the department of linguistic, literary, and aesthetic studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Rettberg is the author or coauthor of novel-length works of electronic literature, combinatory poetry, and films including The Unknown... Read More →

Sunday October 7, 2018 10:35am - 11:50am EDT
140 DeBartolo Hall

Attendees (2)