Commentaries - October 2009

My colleague Peter Decherney has been studying and writing about fair use of digital media - specifically, for the purpose of teaching. The extension of copyright protections mindlessly, to the point where showing a clip of a film in class is a violation (and requests for exceptions are denied--although Decherney himself presented the case for extension of the exception recently and won it, at least for now). Narrow interpretations of fair use have shaped the way film and media are taught--which is thus to say, the way the next generation of scholars, film-makers and also customer-users of film, video, television are coming first to understand the subject. In order to feature Decherney's writing on this topic (from a special feature in Cinema Journal he edited), and perhaps just to be puckish, I've made PDFs of two short essays available here: 1, 2. Foundation architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien talk about their design for the new building for the Barnes on the Parkway. Exciting!

The other night at the Kelly Writers House, a panel discussing romanticism and post-romanticism in contemporary poetry, marking the publication of the third volume in the Poems for the Millenium anthology (published by California). From left to right: Charles Bernstein (moderator), Jerome Rothenberg, Jeffrey Robinson, Esther Schor. Recordings of this event and the reading that followed will be available soon.

We've now released the 23rd episode of PoemTalk. This one is about a poem by Cid Corman. Click here for more, and for a link to the recording.

(1) I introduced Marjorie Perloff in 1999 by bringing together a number of things o(1) I introduced Marjorie Perloff in 1999 by bringing together a number of things others have said about her. I solicited these comments from others in the weeks preceding Marjorie's talk at the Writers House.

Susan Stewart: Marjorie, unlike other American intellectuals, thinks constantly about the future. This is why she is one of my favorite European intellectuals.

Bob Perelman: Didn't someone in some universe once say, "May the Force be with you"? Poets in the innovative universe say it this way when any new project is being launched: "May Marjorie be with you."

(2) And speaking of Marjorie, or speaking of Marjorie speaking: PennSound has just now added a recording of the 1989 "off-site" reading at the Modern Language Association conference that year. Marjorie read from her then-in-progress book, Radical Artifice. It was '89 and she was advocating that we get away from the term "language writing." Have a listen. And check out PennSound's off-site MLA reading page.