Kate Zambreno

Undergraduate Discipline

Writing

Graduate Program

MFA Writing Program

Author of the novels Green Girl (Harper Perennial) and O Fallen Angel(Harper Perennial) and of Heroines (Semiotext(e)'s Active Agents) and Book of Mutter (Semiotexte(e)'s Native Agents).  A novel, Drifts, is forthcoming from Harper in Winter 2019. A collection of talks and essays, The Appendix Project, is forthcoming from Semiotext(e) in Spring 2019, and To Write As If Already Dead, a book about Hervé Guibert's To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life, is forthcoming from the ReReading series at Columbia University Press in 2020. She also teaches in the writing programs at Barnard College and Columbia University. SLC, 2013–

 

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Writing

Collage/Assemblage/Montage

Open , Seminar—Fall

In this generative seminar, we will think about how writing can be inspired by and catalyzed from visual forms. We will ask how literary texts can take on dimensions, fragments, and layers by seeing and thinking through collage, assemblage, and montage. Much can inspire us about modes of juxtaposition and hybridity—collage is usually marked by an obsessive vision, passionate and constant collecting, and the witty and melancholy gaze of history. Each week, I will pair a collage artist with a chosen text and ask you to write from and about and to be inspired by these visual and literary forms for your own prose pieces that you will assemble and that may cross the border between fiction and nonfiction.Examples of visual artists we might be looking at include Joseph Cornell, Max Ernst, Chris Marker, Nan Goldin, Kara Walker, Hannah Hoch, Ray Johnson, Kurt Schwitters, B. Ingrid Olson, Paul Sepuya, and Isa Genzken. Some of the possible writers that we read for this class include a mix of generations, forms, genres—Bhanu Kapil, Charlie Fox, W. G. Sebald, Claudia Rankine, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lisa Robertson, Chris Kraus, Danielle Dutton, Wayne Koestenbaum, Anne Carson, and Kathy Acker. This is a prose workshop, meaning that we’ll be reading inside and outside of genres. Open to anyone willing to read and write wildly and seriously.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Notebooks and Other Experiments

Open , Seminar—Fall

There is a marvelously alive quality to reading a writer’s or artist’s notebook—a laboratory of interrupted and ongoing consciousness whose very irregularities or imperfections give it a wildness unmatched by more plotted or studied works. In this workshop, we will read and think through first-person or documentary texts that are inspired by, or take on some quality of, the notebook, scrapbook, sketchbook, or diary—these forms enthralled to the fragment, the list, the aphorism, the rhythms of the daily, the problem of the person in time and space, and the process of creation. We will read artists' notebooks and writers' notebooks and other strange and less easily categorizable forms that borrow from the notebook but exist as essay, novel, meditation, short story, or pillow book. The syllabus might include notebooks and other experiments from Sei Shōnagon, Robert Walser, Susan Sontag, Frida Kahlo, Daniil Kharms, Franz Kafka, Elizabeth Hardwick, Michael Taussig, Suzanne Scanlon, Bhanu Kapil, T. Fleischmann, Alix Cleo Roubaud, Renee Gladman, Fernando Pessoa, Hervé Guibert, Qiu Miaojin, Lydia Davis, Chris Kraus, Simone Weil, Ludwig Wittgenstein, David Markson, Roland Barthes, May Sarton, Moyra Davey, Basquiat, Chris Marker, Lisa Robertson, and Dodie Bellamy. Writers will keep a notebook over the course of the semester. They will also submit two- to three-page imitative responses to the weekly readings, culminating in one workshop piece. This is a prose workshop, meaning that we’ll be reading inside and outside of genres. Open to anyone willing to read and write wildly and seriously.

Faculty

The Lyric and Adventurous Essay

Open , Seminar—Fall

In this course, we will think of the essay as coming from the French word essayer, to attempt, stemming from Montaigne’s playful and inquisitive practice. In class, you will read many examples of published essays that take different forms and routes for their wanderings and meditations, from the lyric to the adventurous, by essayists including Claudia Rankine, Anne Carson, Hilton Als, Maggie Nelson, Bhanu Kapil, Leslie Jamison, and others. We will think of what it means to write seriously and philosophically from the position of the self but also extend the self outwards, discussing writing about art, portraits of others, and other topics. And with this same sense of openness, you will write and workshop your own attempts. Open to prose writers and poets, anyone willing to read, write, and rewrite adventurously.

Faculty