Week 12

From Last Week

We'll be transitioning from E-lit to forms of hybrid print literature that you might see as extending the Duchampian/Cagean disruptions. Please look at Kenneth Goldsmith's piece (poem, narrative? Soliloquy ; then please read Goldsmith's these two critical selections from Kenneth Goldsmith's Uncreative Writing (Columbia UP, 2011). Further notes on Goldsmith

Uncreative Writing in the Classroom / Provisional Language - Chapters 11 and 12

Language as Material Ch 2

On your blog, please write three questions you'd like to have the class discuss on Monday, one for each piece.


Discussion of Goldsmith readings

  • Orienting questions
  • Student generated questions, beginning with “Uncreative Writing in the Classroom”


Please read the following pieces from the anthology Goldmsith co-edited Against Expression. Our working question will be whether or not these conceptual pieces fit the framework of uncreative, as described by Goldmsith. And if they do, how can we begin to place value on them or differentiate them? What criteria might apply? Choosing two of the four pieces as examples, write 2-3 paragraphs in your blog where you begin to make a comparative judgement about them.

Dworkin, Craig. from Legion. pdf, Banner, Fiona. from The Nam. pdf, Davis, Brian Joseph. from Voice Over. pdf, Lomax, Dana. from Disclosure.pdf .

(If you're interested, Goldsmith made available the full text of this anthology, where you can find a number of other recent and historical pieces. Dworkin, Craig and Kenneth Goldsmith, eds. Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing. Evanstons, IL: Northwestern UP, 2011. Full Text



Board work

Conceptual (poems?) texts: How can we begin to place value on them or differentiate them? What criteria might apply? (See Goldsmith, but also Hernstein-Smith or Eagleton).




Homework for Thursday

Considering Goldsmith's conceptual exercises in “uncreative writing,” as well as the models from Against Expression, create your own “uncreative” conceptual text. Please share it on the blog, along with a paragraph about your method and your reason for choosing it. I would like several volunteers who are willing to project and perform their work in class.


Evaluative criteria for our conceptual pieces: - audience reaction - provokes emotion (positive, negative) - provokes thought - concept (originality?) (author plans) - source material

Conceptual Projects

  • Discussion of the experience of composition.
  • Performance of several pieces

Evaluation and Synthesis

synthesis.pdf Consider how the core question (how can we tell good from bad?) intersects with the critical readings on value and the creative works we have studied.

Towards a Thesis Paper on Value


Begin working on thesis paper proposal (due Monday after Thanksgiving).



Read two sections of Goldsmith.