Here below are: first notes towards your final projects, the collaborative groups we came up with during the last class session, and the writing prompt is below (due Wednesday) that was already discussed in class last week and this past Saturday.
FIRST NOTES TOWARDS FINAL PROJECTS:
NOTE: final collaborative projects must
a) be fuller, more developed and polished works of writing: the length/scope that would equal out the amount of time spent on 3 consecutive weekly writing experiments (so take in-class time and multiply it by three–6-8 hours–would be the very minimal required amount of labor time you should take to work on these).
b) All final projects must be written text-based, making use of (riffing on, being inspired by, citing, responding to otherwise) the poetic and performative-creative writing materials assigned for the course, though not duplicative of those materials (in other words: be playful and thus creative with how you use the texts, how you think about and reflect on them). In other words: make course materials and discussions the materials you are responding to/playing with for this final writing project. You may draw on any number personal experiences too, but one focus should be within the scope of this course.
c) each final project must take on the challenge that has consumed us in our questioning of the weekly readings, which is to try to enact some sort of tension between WRITTEN page and PERFORMED page. OR: take on as your main constraint to the writing of a performative piece–which of course may do any number of things to us as readers additionally–as one that torques or re-thinks relations between page/writing as performed and performance itself, different modes of performance, different “kinds” of performance or ways of thinking of what performance can come to mean. OR, again, LASTLY, AS FORMED INTO A QUESTION: HOW/IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR PIECE ALLOW US TO RETHINK WHAT “PERFORMING THE TEXT” CAN COME TO MEAN?
d) Each collaborative group project should also be something that can be, and is, performed/read such that the performing and/or reading informs us, makes us think more about, what performing can come to mean in a (particularly) poetic context.
e) Groups are formed, particularly for 4-credit courses where feedback (and other pedagogical features of any course/program) are necessarily truncated, so that you can practice giving and receiving critical feedback on your and peer writing. But for this course, the groups also form the nexus of a collaborative writing project. Think of your group as an ensemble in which each final writing piece must be collaborative, not completely individualized. As we discussed, collaboration can range from meaning that your group works to write each line or set of lines together, all the way to working within a more modular mode. Collaboration is thus key here, particularly as it allows us to practice other writing skill sets, and so should be part of the work, even if loosely or modular (i.e., individual pieces that are tied together via manifesto or via theme, or form etc, but written separately from one another).
NOTE 2: I’ll be asking for my evaluation writing–and end of quarter feedback on your individual writings AND final projects–for you to tell us in a few sentences how your group worked, how you collaborated, and what sorts of challenges as well as successes you felt you hit upon as you took up the main challenge of “performing the (your) text.” This is to say: I’ll be asking at end for a short statement that is, in a sense, a poetics of this particular work. So be quite intentional about a-e above as you work together. More on that as we get closer to week 10.
FINAL WEEKLY PROMPT (Due Weds Week 7)
STEP 1: Choose ONE of the sub-sections of “Docile Bodies” (one of the “Arts of Distribution–there are more, but you have 2 in your reading excerpt). For example, take the partitioning section.
STEP 2: Find a place on campus that you feel “partitions” or forms “enclosure.” Remember, all institutions argues Foucault, distribute power, and most historically have made bodies more docile in relation to the institutions those bodies are in or part of. And recall that for Foucault this occurs via the tekne of (the scientific theory and application of) the re-arrangement of space–these are arts, then, but also technologies, of bodily distribution.
STEP 3: For 5-10 min, IN THAT SPACE, take some free-written notes, noting how and to what degree that space you chose enacts that art of distribution you also chose to focus on. DO AN “ARCHEOLOGY” OF THAT CAMPUS SPACE BY MAKING A POEM/PIECE OF “CREATIVE” WRITING that in itself enacts, responds to, and IN FORM (not just “content”) somehow evokes, accords with, resonates as, inscribes, or otherwise experiments with, the arguments of the sub-section you chose. This means:
–How might a poem or piece of performative/creative writing “enact” or “argue” or be shaped by, for example, Foucault’s notion of enclosure within the space you are doing the writing on campus (or how can that poem acknowledge its unavoidable confrontation with such a pervasive phenomenon)?
–How might this poem be, in a sense, an extension of your critical body as framed through Foucault’s work? Your critical desires? Your critical needs? An extension of, to use poet Rob Halpern’s phrase, critical sexuality? All of these angles, and others you can think of, are on the table as entry points or architectures or forms for your poem. Be playful and careful and enjoy.