[-empyre-] Week 1: "Teaching Radio Heart, and Other Cyborg Poetry, "

Margaret J Rhee mrhee at uoregon.edu
Wed May 3 03:29:40 AEST 2017

Hi all,

I am so pleased to introduce our first week's guests, who are all 
formative and inspiring scholars, artists, and educators, Susan 
Vanderborg, Sean Pessin, Mike Widner, and Sunny Xiang. This first week, 
"Teaching Radio Heart, and Other Cyborg Poetry," centers a discussion on 
the pedagogical implications of cyborg poetry within a variety of 
disciplines and approaches.

Susan, Sean, Mike, and Sunny all taught the poetry from the collection 
in their respective classes, and have been personally inspiring to me in 
many ways. I have placed their bios below, along with personal 
introductions to our meetings, and collective interests.


I first met Sean when he was an editor at Les Figues Press, and I held 
the Kathy Acker Fellowship in 2014. I remember the generative and fun 
times tabling at, and organizing literary panels for the West Hollywood 
Book Fair, and working together at the press with a focus on avant 
poetry and writing. Sean taught Radio Heart in a queer literature 
course, at the California State University Northridge, and he is also an 
incredible writer of fairy tales.

Mike and I met as graduate students with the HASTAC Fellowship, when we 
were invited to Duke University with other HASTAC scholars for a digital 
pedagogy gathering many years ago. I remember meaningful conversations 
with Mike, not only on digital pedagogy, but on our shared interests in 
poetry as well, and grateful for a continuing conversation on poetics, 
robots, and poetry writing since that time. Mike taught Radio Heart in a 
code poetry class at Stanford University, and has wonderful machine 
poems forthcoming in the Machine Dreams Zine.

Sunny and I also have been long time colleagues and friends beginning 
from graduate school, due to our interests in Asian American literature. 
While we were in different departments, we took seminars in the field of 
Asian American and ethnic literature together, and lovely lunches and 
times off of Bancroft. Sunny has always been an inspiring interlocutor, 
and she taught poems from the collection in her Asian American 
Literature class at Yale University.

I had the great pleasure to visit the University of South Carolina to 
give a poetry reading, and a talk for MFA students earlier this Fall, 
with a kind invitation from Susan Vanderborg, who is a formative scholar 
on cyborg and experimental poetry. Susan's scholarship is greatly 
inspiring to my writing on poetics, and I am humbled she is writing an 
article on Radio Heart; or How Robots Fall Out of Love, and taught 
poetry from the collection in her English class.


To begin the week's conversation, I wondered if we could possibly begin 
by discussing the implications of teaching robot or cyborg poetics 
within respective disciplinary classrooms? Im excited for this 
conversation since you have all taught the collection and other cyborg 
literature within different disciplines, with Mike teaching in code 
poetry, Sunny in Asian American Literature, Sean in queer studies, and 
Susan in English, and I wondered what similarities or differences there 
were, in responses from students, or pedagogical framing or challenges 
of teaching robot poetry within different courses? I would love to learn 
more on your own current work, and other concerns and ideas on cyborg 
poetics and pedagogy.

Many thanks again to Sunny, Susan, Mike, and Sean for your time, 
generous teaching, and our conversations. We welcome others on the 
listserve to join the conversation as well, and greatly look forward to 
this week's dialogue.



"Week 1: Teaching Radio Heart, and Other Cyborg Poetry"

Sean Pessin

Sean Pessin (US)  has lived in Los Angeles his whole life; he earned an 
and M.A. in English at CSU Northridge (where he teaches), and an M.F.A.
from Otis College of Art and Design. He is the founding editor of agape:
a journal of literary goodwill and editor-at-large for Magra Books. His
work has appeared in The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, Interfictions
Online, The New Short Fiction Series, and is always fabulous and strange
and queer.

Sunny Xiang

Sunny Xiang (US) is an Assistant Professor of English at Yale 
She received her PhD in English from the University of California, 
in 2014. Her work engages 20th-21st-century Asian Anglophone literature, 
world literature, U.S. ethnic literature, postcolonial literature, human 
rights discourse, and narrative
and novel studies.

Mike Widner

Michael Widner (US) is in the joint employee of the Division of 
Literatures, Cultures, and Languages and the Stanford University 
Libraries, where he works as an Academic Technology Specialist. He works 
with faculty and their research assistants as consultant or collaborator 
in DLCL-based digital humanities and instructional technology projects. 
He also helps organize and present events for the Digital Humanities 
Focal Group.

He received his Ph.D in English from the University of Texas at Austin 
in 2014. His dissertation, titled "Genre Trouble: Embodied Cognition in 
Fabliaux, Gawain, and Bury St Edmunds."He is also the project director 
for Bibliopedia, an NEH-funded platform for gathering, displaying, and 
discussing humanities scholarship that employs linked open data (among 
many other technical features). His period specialization is in medieval 
Britain and France with a focus on romance, fabliaux, and Latin 
chronicles. He works in Middle English, Old French, Latin, Old English, 
Python, Javascript, Perl (deprecated), PHP, a few other machine 
languages, and on the command line.

Prior to entering graduate school, he worked for too many years as a 
UNIX Systems Administrator at a local ISP that was eventually absorbed 
by the corporation now known as AT&T. He can set up a LAMP stack in his 
sleep. He's learning to ride a skateboard and can do a few tricks.

Susan Vanderborg

Susan Vanderborg (US) writes about contemporary experimental and 
speculative poetry, artists’ books, and bio poetry, with articles on 
texts by Fiona Templeton, Darren Wershler, Johanna Drucker, Rosmarie 
Waldrop, Steve Tomasula, and Christian Bök. She teaches classes on 
American cyborg literature, poetry collages, palimpsests, and book art 
as an Associate Professor of English at the University of South 
Carolina. She is currently working on an article on transformations of 
the lyric in Radio Heart and other cyborg poems.

Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor
Women's and Gender Studies
University of Oregon

On 2017-05-01 15:08, Renate Terese Ferro wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> It is with the greatest of pleasure that I introduce new media
> artist/poet Margaret Rhee to the -empyre- listserv.  Margaret has
> agreed to shepherd the May discussion on empyre and I could not be
> more excited.  Her book, Radio Heart or How Robots Fall Out of Love
> (Finishing Line Press, 2015)” caught my eye a few months ago when I
> noticed my old friend and poet Cecil Giscombe’s blurb about Rhee’s
> RADIO HEART.   Previously, I knew of Margaret’s work both as a gifted
> writer but also an artist engaged in the complications of technology,
> race, gender and the body.  I was thrilled when she agreed to be our
> guest and to organize a group around her interests.  This month our
> discussion “Robot Poetics, Ephemera, and Other Concerns” will bring
> together writers, artists, activists, technologist’s and more. I want
> to thank Margaret for her creative, open, spirit and invite other
> empyreans to join in.  I hope you enjoy this month.
> Margaret Rhee is a poet, artist, and scholar engaged in the poetics
> and technologies of difference. As a poet, she is the author of
> chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) Radio Heart; or How Robots Fall
> Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and the forthcoming
> full-length collection, Love, Robot (The Operating System, 2017). She
> is the recipient of poetry fellowships from
> the Squaw Valley Poetry Workshop, Les Figues Press, Hedgebrook, and
> Kundiman. Her academic writing has been published in Amerasia, Cinema
> Journal, and GLQ, and she is completing her monograph How We Became
> Human: Race, Robots and the Asian American Body. With Dr. Brittney
> Cooper, she co-edited a special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender,
> Technology, and New Media on “Hacking the Black/White Binary.” As a
> new media artist, her project The Kimchi Poetry Machine was selected
> to exhibit at the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3, and in
> 2014, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for
> her collaborative and social practice feminist HIV/AIDS digital
> storytelling project in the San Francisco
> Jail(www.ourstorysf.wordpress.com).
>  Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor in the Women’s and
> Gender Studies department at the University of Oregon. In 2014, she
> earned her Ph.D. in ethnic and new
> media studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
> Renate
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor
Women's and Gender Studies
University of Oregon

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