Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Expanded Writing:
A Postscript Symposium

Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 10:00am

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum 

FREE and open to the public 

To register for this event, email Justus Nieland at by July 11


How have contemporary technologies transformed the art and practice of poetry, and the nature of innovative conceptual writing?  What new networks of scholarly, creative, and critical writing have emerged outside the traditional boundaries of the printed page? What histories of linguistic experimentation across media have inspired these new conceptual horizons, with their abiding technologies, platforms, and media infrastructures? 

"Expanded Writing: A Postscript Symposium" assembles a small group of leading scholars, artists, and poets whose work dovetails with the questions raised by the Broad Art Museum’s current Postscript exhibition and its organizing rubrics (“Transcription,” “Translation,” “Redaction,” “Appropriation,” and “Constraint”). This one-day symposium takes the title of the exhibition at its word: to think of what writing is after writing, of what comes post-script. 

Find the recommended readings for this event here.



Doors open 


Keynote Panel #2

Christian Bök, University of Calgary, “The Unkillable Poem: Some Excerpts of DNA from ‘The Xenotext’”

Mónica de la Torre, BOMB Magazine, “Like in Valencia: On Translating Equivalence”

Nick Montfort, MIT, “ Computational Writing from 1950 to #!”




Writing Residency Reflections / Video: Anna Green and Steven Ambrose


Graduate student panel

Laura McGrath, Michigan State University, “Not-Fact: Craig Dworkin’s Invitation Conceptualism”

Dave Watson, Michigan State University, “Postscript and Afterlife: Tupac Shakur, Black Mirror, and Post-Mortem Appropriation”

Marcus Merritt, Wayne State University, “Joe Brainard: Writer. Artist.”

Elizabeth Floyd, UC-Santa Barbara, “A ‘New’ Ekphrasis: The Conceptual Art of Erik Zboya and Jen Bervin”




Keynote Panel #2 

Barrett Watten, Wayne State University, “The Annotated This: Language Writing and Material Practice”

Jennifer Wild, The University of Chicago, “Cinema as Sign”

Jessica Pressman, UC-San Diego, “Bookishness”


Reception; gallery hours extended until 6pm 


Concluding roundtable (Moderator: Yesomi Umolu, Assistant Curator, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum)



  • Christian Bök, University of Calgary --  Christian Bök is widely considered one of Canada's foremost experts on contemporary experimental poetics and literary theory. Bök is a Ph.D. graduate from York University in Toronto and a renowned Canadian experimental, sound and conceptual poet. His pataphysical encyclopedia Crystallography (Coach House Books, 1994) was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. Eunoia (Coach House Books, 2002), a lipogram that uses only one vowel in each of its five chapters was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2002. Bok will be performing excerpts from his work in progress on “The Xenotext Experiment.” He will read/perform, and also frame the project’s experiment and critical aims.

  • Nick Montfort, MIT -- Dr. Monfort is Associate Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Comparative Media Studies at MIT. A member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization (, Monfort develops computational poetry and interactive fiction and has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. He co-edited The New Media Reader and The Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 and wrote Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction, Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (with Ian Bogost), and Riddle & Bind. Monfort will present work from #! (Shebang), a book forthcoming from Counterpath this summer. It contains computer programs followed by their output. He plans to frame their presentation with some discussion drawn from "Conceptual Computing and Digital Writing," that he wrote for the Postscript book.

  • Jessica Pressman, University of California, San Diego -- Dr. Pressman is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego. A scholar of 20th- and 21st-century American literature, digital poetics, and media theory, Dr. Pressman’s work examines how technologies affect our understanding of aesthetics and reading practices. She pursues these connections across literary and artistic experiments from the 20th- and 21st-centuries and across media forms. She is the author of Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media (Oxford UP, 2014), and co-editor, with Katherine Hayles, of Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in the Postscript Era (U of Minnesota Press, 2014). Pressman will present work from her new book project, Bookishness: The Afterlife of Books in 21st-Century American Literary Culture. The project examines the fetishization of books in contemporary design, art, and literature as a response to the threat of an increasingly paperless and multimodal society.
  • Mónica de la Torre, BOMB Magazine -- Poet, translator, and scholar Mónica de la Torre was born and raised in Mexico City. She earned a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and, with the support of a Fulbright Scholarship, relocated to New York in 1993 to pursue an MFA and a Ph.D. in Spanish literature at Columbia University. Her poetry collections include Public Domain (2008), Talk Shows (2007), and Acúfenos (2006). De la Torre will present an excerpt from her essay on self-translation and translation technologies, and a reading of a few of her poems that she takes up in this essay, which is forthcoming in the Postscript exhibition catalogue. 
  • Barrett Watten, Wayne State University -- One of the founding members of the Language School, Barrett Watten is Professor of English at Wayne State University. He is the author of The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics (winner of the 2004 René Wellek Prize, ACLA) and Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Material Practice (forthcoming); as well as numerous volumes of poetry, including Frame (1971-1990), Bad History, and Progress/Under Erasure. With Carrie Noland, he co-edited Diasporic Avant- Gardes: Experimental Poetics and Cultural Dislocation (Palgrave, 2008); and with Lyn Hejinian, he is co-editor of A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982-98, and Poetics Journal Digital Archive (Wesleyan University Press, 2013/14).  Watten will present work on the “page” of This magazine, one of the central little magazines of the Language movement, that Watten edited in the 1970s and 1980s. 

  • Jennifer Wild, University of Chicago -- Dr. Wild is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on the history and theory of modernism and the avant-garde; experimental film; French cinema; the history of exhibition; and the cinema’s relation to the other arts. Her first book The Film Stripped Bare: The Parisian Avant-Garde in the Age of Cinema, 1900-1926 (The University of California Press, 2015), takes the point of view of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Picabia, and Marcel Duchamp in order to ‘lay bare’ the formal and experiential components of the historical cinema experience in Paris pre-1926. Dr. Wild will be presenting portions of a new book project on the work of Marcel Broodthaers, using his film work to explore the role of semiotics in the conceptual turn surrounding the cinema, and the cinema's migration to installation practice.