Thursday, January 06, 2011

Jane Sprague's Imaginary Syllabi

Imaginary Syllabi
Palm Press, 2011
Edited and published by Jane Sprague

Cover design and layout by Keren Cohen

A book-length project of contributions by multiple authors that aims to collect writings which investigate, uncover, examine, complicate, question, spoof, spark, incite, meditate, mediate, mix, sample, nettle, navigate, question, provoke, and otherwise (essentially) challenge pedagogical strategies pursuant to the work of teaching writing and other disciplines. This book includes writings which dream up, concoct and explore utopian, fabulist, fantasy syllabi for potential imagined or real classroom endeavors: Educational projects undertaken and employed (deployed) in and outside of official as well as mongrel “schools.” Official spaces might harbor (or cultivate) the mongrel & vice versa.


• Sample syllabi that have been implemented or might/could be implemented AND the opposite of this condition: wholly fantastical stuff more suited to investigations in outer space and other sociocultural vacuums.

• Syllabi composed entirely of images or text or some combination of both. Syllabi may be scattered or comprehensive lists of pertinent, esoteric, weird or terribly useful URLs.

• Documents from classroom practices that were successful, compelling, disturbing etc. and which their authors wish to share, distribute, make known.

• Essays/Syllabi that mention other teachers and communities of teachers &/or documents, critiques, etc. &/or explore and extend the work of other teachers and communities of teachers, theorists, scholars, activists, revolutionaries, radicals, & intellectual insurgents.... There is no intended fixed, predetermined or official meaning attached in this CFW to the word “teacher”; “A thing which shows or points something out…”; teachers are sometimes not necessarily human organisms.

• Writings that disclose, assay, weigh the idea of the “syllabus” itself.

• Unimagined documents for unimagined learners among whom we could also group teachers / professors / instructors / mentors / advisors / and so on.


The intent of this project is to spur and develop a sense of critical inquiry, partnership, collaboration, critique and rebellion that the final book object also aims to cultivate among and within its readers.


Danielle Adair
Piotr Adamczyk
Stan Apps
Cara Benson
Thom Donovan
Jim Duignan
Rob Halpern
Kevin Hamilton
Paul Hoover
Adam Katz
Dorothea Lasky
John Lennon
M. Simon Levin
Dana Teen Lomax
Kelly Marie Martin
Erin McNellis
Miranda Mellis
Rich Murphy
Laurie Long
Jennifer Nellis
Holly Painter
Erik Pedersen
Mirielle Perron
Kristin Prevallet
Elizabeth Robinson
Chris Stroffolino
Sam Truitt
Andrew Zawacki

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

"On Reviewing" (@ Lemon Hound)

Sina Queyras of Lemon Hound asked me to respond to her questionnaire about reviewing, which I gladly did:

LH: Is there a quality you are looking for in a review that you haven’t found?

TD: I think it is less that there is a quality in reviews that I haven’t found, and more a sense that the review, as a form of criticism, should whither. In fact, what I really want more of are forms of literature that enfold their critical reception, and especially their reception as it is inflected through community, friendship, and civic responsibility. What if the poetry book included the review (the blurb is an unsubtle device gesturing at this)? What if the book disappeared into its reception and distribution as, for instance, Tan Lin’s Seven Controlled Vocabularies seems to do in some ways. What if, in other words, the work itself started to constitute an act of meta-discourse that intends to present its role in exchange, community, correspondence, reception, distribution, and its complicity in all of these events. What if distributed authorship (or choral modes of criticism—a term I have been using recently to describe a recent trend within contemporary poetry) made the perceived object disappear, dissolved in a network of others, in becoming, in archive and collective performance and the desire for emergent modes and models of subjectivity? Perhaps, for many of us, that is what the poem already is. Though there is nothing announcing this formal quality through its context within a book, magazine, or wherever else the poem may be encountered. The problem I’m identifying involves a crisis of the media itself, which continues to ‘implode’ in relation to the US’s current oligarchic political system, but perhaps also points to the unsustainability of anything which does not acknowledge its connectivity through higher forms of organization, systematicity, and corporatization.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

BOMB Interview with Adam Pendleton PDF

Here is a link to a PDF of the interview I conducted with Adam Pendleton for the recent winter issue of BOMB.