The Speech/Acts reading group will meet over six Saturday afternoons in the fall; we will discuss syllabus texts and explore what they illuminate and provoke. The group will meet in a satellite outpost for The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII), founded by Claudia Rankine, installed in the first-floor galleries at ICA. All are welcome to join the reading group; you are also welcome to use and adapt this syllabus as a tool for encountering Speech/Acts in your own classroom or study group, or to use it on your own.
On Saturday, November 18 from 1 to 4PM, we will discuss The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be by Harryette Mullen. The book forms an extended consideration not only of Mullen’s own work, methods, and interests as a poet, but also of issues of central importance to African American poetry and language, women’s voices, and the future of poetry.
Together, these essays and interviews highlight the impulses and influences that drive Mullen’s work as a poet and thinker, and suggest unique possibilities for the future of poetic language and its role as an instrument of identity and power.
Harryette Mullen teaches American poetry, African American literature, and creative writing at UCLA. She is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Recyclopedia: Trimmings, SPeRMKT, and Muse & Drudge, winner of a PEN Beyond Margins Award. Her book Sleeping with the Dictionary was a finalist for a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
The reading group is organized by Meg Onli (ICA), Julia Bloch (Creative Writing Program), and Davy Knittle and Amber Rose Johnson (Penn English).