Twelve Dialogical + Poetic Strategies for the Millennium

History/Theory

Fall 2012 + Spring 2013

Yehuda Safran, instructor

Inspired by the insight that simply thinking of a certain musical phrase effects one’s body no less than if one actually hears it, this seminar set out to introduce the possibility of an Archimedean point that allows each individual to extricate themselves from any set of conventions, preconceived ideas or paradigms. Each week we introduced a pair of dialectically connected concepts. We practiced a conceptual analysis—something in the spirit of Paul Feyerabend’s “anything goes” on one hand, and the systematic meditations of Husserl’s Phenomenological Reduction on the other hand. Indeed, sometimes we found in more recent writers—Paul de Man and Derrida—several critical discourses and poetics derived epistemologically from Husserl’s insight, not unlike an earlier generation of Russian Formalism. Above all, with the introduction of several poets and writers together with architects and painters grasped more clearly the possibility of learning a measure of Socratic irony in order to create other poetic strategies.