Micah Donohue (ENMU)
“Between the Imagined and the Real: Revelation, Apocalypse, and Virtual Literature in Borges, Saramago, and Le Guin"
This talk explores the virtual in “virtual literature” through readings of interconnected texts by three authors: Jorge Luis Borges, José Saramago, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Drawing on these authors, as well as from philosophers of the virtual (Bergson, Deleuze, Lévy), in this talk I discuss how virtual literature constitutes a definitive generic territory within what Le Guin—in an essay about Borges—called “the vast domain of fantastic literature.” What differentiates virtual literature from science fiction, fantasy, utopian/dystopian literature, magic realism, and other neighboring and overlapping categories of speculative fiction, is virtual literature’s apocalyptic and allegorical attention to the “ordinary” and “everyday” not as a site of solutions or answers, but as a “problematic field” (to use Pierre Lévy’s suggestive phrase) of proliferating questions and challenges.
Tom McEnaney (UC Berkeley)
“Revolution 2.0: Art, Activism, Architecture, and Digital Infrastructure in Havana”
How has digital infrastructure in Cuba--from the hand-to-hand model of the internet (el paquete) to its national versions of social media--transformed the Revolutionary purpose of the material and symbolic commons? How have artists and writers reimagined the commons--as counterpublic, undercommons, or otherwise--in relation to this digital media? And how do contemporary interventions into the commons from planners and artists like Jorge Enrique Lage or Tania Bruguera build on previous theories and practices of urban space in Havana, from Alejo Carpentier and Severo Sarduy to Pedro Martíntez Inclán, Mario Coyula, or Roberto Segre? This talk will explore these questions at the intersection of art, architecture, and online life in Cuba's capital city.
This event is co-sponsored by the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University.
RSVP here (encouraged but not required).