MFA Writing Program Visiting Artist Series presents Jack Halberstam, Wayne Koestenbaum and Maggie Nelson: Ugly Feelings @ REDCAT
REDCAT: Threading a fine line between enlightenment and titillation, critical inquiry and tragic comedy, recognition and denial, three formidable cultural critics convene to face up to the darker realms of human emotion in their newly published books, inviting us to examine, name, and even revel in the “ugly feelings” that fuel the culture of our time. In Jack Halberstam’s embrace of “low theory” in The Queer Art of Failure (Duke University Press), the scholar looks at, among other things, the notion of failure embedded today in animation for children. Wayne Koestenbaum’s Humiliation (Picador) examines the guises and meanings of shame for individuals both famous and obscure—not least himself. Finally, Maggie Nelson, in The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (W.W. Norton and Co.), considers representations of violence in art, writing and drama—works expressly designed to shock and awe. But fear not: It’s still a book party!
Jack Halberstam is a professor at University of Southern California (USC). Halberstam writes on art, culture, queer life and subcultures and has published books on gender variance, subcultural lives and gothic fiction and film. Halberstam’s new book, The Queer Art of Failure, tracks alternative notions of success and failure across queer and popular culture and proposes new models for knowing, being and achieving. Halberstam is currently finishing a new book tentatively titled: Gaga Feminism: Pregnant Men, Heteroflexible Women and The End of Normal.
Wayne Koestenbaum has published five books of poetry: Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Model Homes, The Milk of Inquiry, Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender, and Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems. He has also published a novel, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes, and seven books of nonfiction: Humiliation, Hotel Theory, Andy Warhol, Cleavage, Jackie Under My Skin, The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Double Talk. Forthcoming in 2012 are The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (University of California Press) and Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background (Turtle Point Press). Koestenbaum is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center, and also a Visiting Professor in the painting department of the Yale School of Art.
Maggie Nelson is most recently the author of four books of nonfiction: an acclaimed work of art and cultural criticism, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (Norton, 2011); a meditation on the color blue, Bluets (Wave Books, 2009); a critical study of poetry and painting, Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007; winner of the Susanne M. Glasscock Award for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, and a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant); and an autobiographical book about sexual violence and media spectacle, The Red Parts: A Memoir (Free Press, 2007; named a Notable Book of the Year by the State of Michigan). She is also the author of several books of poetry, including Jane: A Murder (Soft Skull Press, 2005; finalist, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of Memoir), Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2005), The Latest Winter (Hanging Loose Press, 2003), and Shiner (Hanging Loose, 2001; finalist, the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award). Her poetry has been widely anthologized, and included in The Best American Poetry series.