"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


Ambience in the Humanities: Translating New Surroundings into New Poetics

Full disclosure: I will be reading a paper for this one (via Skype, which I've never done before...)

Ambience in the Humanities: Translating New Surroundings into New Poetics

November 19-20, 2010
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

The Humanities Initiative conference, organized by former Graduate Student Fellows Elena Bellinaand John Melillo

Sounds, voices, musics, images, written codes of all sorts – in today’s media-saturated environment, humans lend their ears and eyes to an abundant and seemingly free-floating worlds of social and sensory information. The intensity of this information calls for different models of poetics that figure the artist not as a lone fabricator constructing and reconstructing a singular tradition but rather as an antenna, receiving and rebroadcasting atmospheres of experience. The affects, concepts, and materials that create particular ambiences do not merely condition the work, as in the classic divide of text and context, but literally inform it, giving both material and shape to the poetic process. From everyday life to extreme conditions of constraint, from suburbia to the warzone, how does the sensing self record—consciously or unconsciously—the ambience of these zones and spaces?

In this conference, we propose to organize a series of roundtable discussions with writers, composers, performers, and critics that will consider not the influence of a particular tradition or canon but rather the influence of particular material surroundings. What does New York—as a crowded, built-up urban environment—mean for punk rock musicians in the early 1970s? How do the sounds of warfare affect soldiers and civilians in past and contemporary war zones? How do the symbols and images of pop culture get rearranged as signs of political allegiance? How do all the arts reflect the conditions of their production—not only in a political economic sense but also in the sense of sensing itself—the social materiality of exterior information?

For more information, including a conference program, please visit


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it was very interesting to read. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can? And you et an account on Twitter?.