Saturday, May 31, 11:00-12:30
Panel: The Internet

Moderator: Stephanie Young

Panelists will address the perils and possibilities of technologically mediated public spaces, specifically focusing on how new technologies may mystify, reproduce, or intensify existing racial, gender, and class divisions.

Panelists and Presentations:

Jasper Bernes's essay "On the Poverty of Internet Life: A Call for Poets" (Action, Yes) argues for an understanding of internet culture in terms of the logic of capitalist accumulation and the ideological imperatives of the U.S. ruling class after 9/11. It closes with a call for poets to realize the emancipatory promise of the internet in a space and manner less susceptible to regulation and subsumption. His talk will focus on his plans for such a project, responses to the essay and the subsequent development of his thinking. Advance / related reading: from Jodi Dean, Publicity's Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy (rotate clockwise in Adobe reader to view), Cornell University Press, 2002 (link to come), Immaterial Labor and its Machinization, by Leopoldina Fortunati and "Apple - 1984" (dir. Ridley Scott):

(Text of video: Each of you is a single cell in the great body of the State. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites. We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts. The thugs and wreckers have been cast out. Let each and every cell rejoice! For today we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directive. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, from which each worker may bloom secure from the pests purveying contradictory and confusing truths. Our unification of thought is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, as we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail.)

csperez will revisit his essay My Michael Magee and the Frontier of Democratic Symbolic Action, which he describes as follows: "This essay situates 'Their Eyes, Their Asian Glittering Guys, Are Gay' (which caused a stir in the online poetry community that generated more than 500 pages of online commentary) within the context of Magee's brilliant critical work Emancipating Pragmatism: Emerson, Jazz, and Experimental Writing (U of Alabama Press, 2004). I suggest that Magee's Emerson functions as a founding father of a "Pragmatist-Flarf." In addition, I question the limits of Pragmatist-Flarf's desire to intervene, through "democatic symbolic action," in racialized discourses." Advance / related reading: poeta y diwata (Barbara Jane Reyes), Unitedstatesean Notes (Javier Huerta), Letras Latinas (Institute for Latino Studies, Univ. of Notre Dame), Detainees (Linh Dinh), You Are Here (Lee Herrick) and Intuitive Intertextuality (Oscar Bermeo).

Erika Staiti will discuss her recent editorial/archival project, "RACE and GENDER". RACE is an archive of what remains from the conversation surrounding Michael Magee's poem "Their Guys, Their Asian Glittering Guys, Are Gay" (May-Dec 2006). GENDER is an archive relating to the Chicago Review essay "Numbers Trouble" by Juliana Sphar and Stephanie Young (Nov 07-Feb 08). Both projects are exclusively composed of blog posts and comments. RACE and GENDER can be found at Advance / related reading: : The Wayback Machine and excerpts from Archive Fever.

More about the panelists:

Jasper Bernes is the author of Starsdown (in girum imus, 2007). He is a graduate student in English at UC Berkeley.

'csperez' (craig santos perez) has published over 500 posts on his blog ( since 2006. His comments have appeared, or are forthcoming, in many prestigious sites: Poeta y Diwata, Silliman's Blog, Looktouchblog, The Poetry Foundation,The Newer Metaphysicals, Detainees, and Lime Tree, among others. He currently edits the Omnidawn Publishing blog (

Erika Staiti has found a new way to cope with her mild (and undiagnosed) obsessive compulsiveness. She searches, cuts, pastes, reformats, searches, cuts, pastes, reformats. Please visit her project at


Anonymous said...

HI there, your link to my poeta y diwata blog is broken. Just thought I'd let you know....

Small Press Traffic said...

Hey Barbara, thanks for the heads up. It should be working now. Sorry for the delay! (Stephanie here; I was out of town all week and sans internet)