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Looking at Language: The Materialized Word

Friday, May 15, 2015
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)

Scholars often think of materiality in terms of non-textual artifacts, including physical objects, space, and bodies. But what happens when we consider language to be a physical object—one that has not only linguistic but material codes of meaning? Indeed, the very act of insisting on the material particulars of language has historically been construed as a challenge to dogma and so has often incited political and religious debate. Although power structures often attempt to render language a transparent medium, language's materiality remains a brute fact, and its aspects are often far more nuanced and complex than we realize.

"Looking at Language: the Materialized Word" will be a one-day interdisciplinary workshop that fosters a unique conversation between typographers, art historians, archivists, artists, historians, poets, and literary scholars regarding their shared interest in the materialized word. In comparing these disparate but connected methodologies, we will all benefit from the rich, multi-faceted perspective that results when we learn to look through one another's eyes at the material forms of language.

Craig Dworkin, University of Utah
"And Nothing But (on facts)"

Mary Keeler, VivoMind, Inc.
"On the Quest of C.S. Peirce's Manuscripts"

Raph Levien, Google, Inc.
"The Feeling of Typography: from Letterpress Type to Touchscreen"

Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University and USC
"From Concrete to Conceptual: The Notebooks of Ian Hamilton Finlay and Craig Dworkin"

Jennifer Roberts, Harvard University
"Backwords: Screenprinting and the Politics of Reversal"

Organized by:

Susan Barbour
Caltech-Huntington Longterm Fellow, 2014-2015
Lecturer, Merton College, Oxford

RSVP to sbarbour@caltech.edu.

Download the full schedule

Series: Materialities, Texts and Images (MTI) Workshops
For more information, please phone 626-395-4228 or email sabrina@hss.caltech.edu

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