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(un)Writing the Book: Galerie de Difformité

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Annual Torrence C. Harder Endowed Lecture
In this lecture, award-winning novelist, author, and scholar Gretchen E. Henderson  discusses writing – and unwriting – the book as a body with inscribed parts: header, spine, footnotes, and more. Drawing on disciplines ranging from literature to book history, art history to disability studies, museum studies to music, she will describe her deforming book, Galerie de Difformité and its influences that range across centuries, from Dante’s Inferno to Laurence Sterne’s Tristam Shandy.
How do we classify books in changing material and digital environments? How do we engage readers and students in shifting reading and writing practices? How do our bodies make and unmake books? Beyond publication, this novel-as-poem-as-essay-as-art grows outside its inscribed bounds as it continues to deform in the hands of readers to create a new kind of gallery and notion of the book.
Henderson was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Media Studies and Writing at MIT, where she taught courses on “(un)Writing the Book” and “Writing in the Museum,” a MetaLAB Research Fellow at Harvard University, and a Mary Catherine Mooney Fellow at the Boston Athenæum.
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