Reflection: Amy Kurzweil

If Bob Dylan (via Professor Greil Marcus) taught me anything, it is that what we create is more powerful than who we are. What we create becomes who we are, or at least how we are remembered. This fall, I had the pleasure of serving as a TA for Greil’s class, “Old Weird America: Folk Music and Democratic Speech.”  The course exposed my class of 24 curious undergraduates to murderous folk ballads, dense music scholarship, and post-modern novels, among other engaging, shocking, and, at times, obscure artistic outputs. For the... Read The Rest →

Reflection: Greil Marcus

I joined the Riggio program in Writing and Democracy in 2007, and with the exception of 2008 have taught in the program every fall semester since. My main responsibility has been the ULEC undergraduate lecture course “The Old Weird America—Music as Democratic Speech, from the Commonplace Song to Bob Dylan.” The theme of the class, which enrolls between 90 and 100 students, with the participation of four to five Writing Program TAs, is the American folk song—including ballads, blues, blackface minstrelsy, and so-called folk-lyric compositions, where hundreds of floating verses... Read The Rest →

Reflection: Eli Nadeau

dark reason shivering lilies dreamed revolution ribcage Eli Nadeau about the time i got hired as a teaching assistant for a class of seven, plus one Catherine Barnett, which is to say we drank café con leche, i had two, you paid. i listened to your poems, in your voice, the week before, in my office, alone, with the stuff that the city does on a summer evening with light and wept. Catherine you were so beautiful we met on the upper west, and it was raining, and we drank... Read The Rest →

Reflection: Tom Healy

ASHLAB:  The Ashberyian Panorama Tom Healy One thing we do at AshLab—an ongoing documentary project on the life and work of poet John Ashbery—is make panoramas of Ashbery’s home in Hudson, NY. We can’t get inside Ashbery’s head, but we can put a freeze frame on the Ashberyian domestic interior circa 2013. We are using sophisticated digital cameras, but of course anyone with an iPhone can shoot a pretty cool panorama. What I love is that this now-ubiquitous tool of our culture’s relentless self-documentation has a weird and interesting history... Read The Rest →

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