upcoming talks

Exile Cartography                                                    
Harvard Cartography Seminar, conveners Tom Conley and Katharina Piechocki                                         Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University | April 2021

In this talk, Karen Elizabeth Bishop revisits her 2016 collection, Cartographies of Exile: A New Spatial Literacy, to consider the constitutive relationship between exile and map-making, ask what kinds of maps exiles make, and examine the ways in which the cartographical necessity of exile challenges how we conceive of and practice mapping. Bishop will parse, in particular, how cartography is leveraged on the page and on the ground by late twentieth- and twenty-first century poets from around the globe in order to represent and shape the contemporary splintered, contested exilic condition. 

American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting 2019
co-convener (with Teresa Villa-Ignacio) of seminar on Poet-Translators in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
7-10 March 2019 | Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

This seminar will discuss poetry translated by practicing poets, the uniqueness of poetic translation as a literary genre, and the emergence of the modern poet-translator as a hybrid writing persona worthy of critical study. While scholars, critics, and some poets themselves may consider a poet’s translated work to be secondary to his or her own writing, what happens when we consider poetry writing and translation to be tandem and reciprocal efforts? How do we value and evaluate this parallel poetic craft in our contemporary moment? We seek to explore how translating poetry differs from translating other genres, and what the working poet imports of his or her own craft when translating other poets’ work. How do we read poet-translators’ poetry differently in light of their translations, and how do we read their translations otherwise in light of their poetic work? How might poet-translators’ theories of translation, developed through their own translational practices, inform their poetry and poetics? Further, how might a writer who identifies as a poet-translator contribute to discussions of bilingualism and multilingualism, or to transnational political advocacy? We welcome proposals on poet-translators at work in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, translating to and from all languages, including poet-translators whose translated work has already gained critical attention as well as others whose translations have not yet been widely circulated. While translations by Seamus Heaney, Anne Carson, and John Ashbery, for example, have already garnered critical acclaim in relation to their own poetic oeuvres, what might we also learn from Rosmarie Waldrop, Clayton Eshleman, and W.S. Merwin, whose translations have not yet received the scholarly attention they merit? We aim, in this three-day seminar, to emphasize the increasing visibility of the poet-translator and to open the way for new, global conversations on the rich reciprocity between the writing and translating of poetry.

El exilio chileno en Europa: WUS y el apoyo internacional a los exiliados
“Fracture, Fissure, Verse: The Cartographical Necessity of Exile in Text and World”
Museo de la Memoria | Santiago de Chile | 17 October 2018

Artificial Natures Symposium
Venice, Italy | 28 May 2018
Ideal Spaces Working Group at the Venice Architecture Biennale
“Open Spaces in Time: Designs for Rebuilding the Architectural History of Disappearance”

Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting 2018
Barcelona, Spain | 24 May 2018
“The Architectural History of Disappearance: Building the Natural World into Memory Sites in the Southern Cone”
panel: Los archivos de la violencia en Latinoamérica

Modern Language Association Annual Convention 2017
Philadelphia | 5-8 January 2017
Roundtable on Natural Media
Friday, 6 January | 1:45–3:00 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon I, Philadelphia Marriott

The term media ecology suggests a more inclusive approach to media studies than the merely technological, yet the “ecology” in question has not, until recently, tended to include features of the natural environment. Participants discuss recent scholarship that promotes continuity between natural and technological media environments.

Speakers: Karen Elizabeth Bishop, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Alenda Chang, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Jason D. Gladstone, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Zach Horton, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Kim Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas; Carlos Nugent, Yale Univ.

University of Alabama Sixth Annual Languages Conference
University of Alabama, Birmingham | 12-13 February 2016 
Invited Keynote Speaker

The Cartographical Necessity of Exile: A Poetics of Displacement
In this keynote lecture, Karen Elizabeth Bishop proposes a vital relationship between exile and mapping and reads its dynamic narrative expression in examples from contemporary world poetry. Drawing from the work of her forthcoming edited collection, Cartographies of Exile: A New Spatial Literacy (Routledge, 2016), she examines the cartographic imperative inherent in the exilic condition, the exilic impulses fundamental to map-making, and the varied forms of description proper to both.

Professor Bishop considers the ways in which exile has become an increasingly splintered condition over the course of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, but finds common ground for these forms of displacement in their cartographical articulation. She looks at the tropological features of map-making and their inherent narrative function as part of a recent critical cartography that understands mapping as an important form of world-appropriation and world-building. She parses the cartographical necessity of exile proposed by St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott in his nomad poetics, as well as the cartographic ethics of exile manifested in the object maps of displaced Polish poet Adam Zagajewski and in the vast cartography of disappearance constructed by Chile’s foremost living poet, Raúl Zurita. Throughout, the varied cartographic projects undertaken by these master poets reveal important new spatial practices and confirm the fundamental agency that map-making affords those beset by displacement around the world.

conference website and call for papers: http://ualc.as.ua.edu/call-for-papers/


Modernist Studies Association 17
Westin Copley Place, Boston | 19-22 November 2015
seminar: Catastrophe and the Limits of Genre
co-chairs Karen Elizabeth Bishop (Rutgers) and David Sherman (Brandeis)

This seminar will examine the effects of catastrophic experience, or the experience of radical subversion of established orders, on modern literary genres. Members of the seminar will approach the emergence and evolution of twentieth-century genres as responses to social, economic, military and ecological catastrophes. The seminar will consider genre analysis as a way into a phenomenology of catastrophe, as dynamic description of how catastrophic experience affects the organization of self before self, other, and state. And it will address the possibility that literary genres can themselves both suffer catastrophic damage and provoke catastrophes of literacy in modernizing cultures. Participants are invited to present work on a wide range of literary genres and catastrophes.


Cultures of Exile: Conversations on Language and the Arts
Albuquerque, NM | 23-25 October 2013
hosted by The International Studies Institute at the University of New Mexico
co-organizers Eleni Bastéa and Walter Putnam
full conference program

talk :: “New Cartographies of Exile”
1.30 p.m. | Friday, 23 October 2013 | Hodgin Hall, Bobo Room


Return of the Text: A Conference on the Cultural Value of Close Reading
Syracuse, NY | 26-28 September 2013
LeMoyne College Religion and Literature Forum
hosted by LeMoyne College

full conference program

paper :: “On Teaching the Close Reading of Torture Literature: An Approximation”
1.40 p.m. | Friday, 27 September 2013 | Crowne Plaza, Skaneateles 2


On Teaching Close Reading in the Undergraduate Classroom
Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Rutgers University
Departmental Certificate in Teaching Literature
Wednesday | 23 April 2013 | 9.30-11 | Carpender Hall 103B


Modern Language Association Annual Convention (NeMLA)
Boston | 21-24 March 2013
panel: The Absent Corpse
co-chairs David Sherman and Karen Elizabeth Bishop

Sunday | 24 March 2013 | 10.15-12.15 | Hyatt Suite 1025

This comparative seminar will explore representations of absent corpses, those that have disappeared or been effaced. We will consider the missing dead, in their double absence, as a unique demand on narrative, lyric, and dramatic techniques. What forms of representation are generated by death practices without a body? How do the cultural politics of death, as assertions of identity and moral claims in the public sphere, compensate for absent corpses? Seminar participants will pre-circulate papers.

paper :: “Grounding the Disappeared: Geoterrography in the Poetics of Raúl Zurita”


on “Talking the Translation: Poetics, Politics and Practices”
Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Rutgers University
Grupo interdisciplinario de estudios latinoamericanos (GIELA)
Friday | 1 March 2013 | 10-1 | Carpender Hall 103B | Rutgers

paper :: “Estrellas precisas: On Translating the Fragments of Marcelo Uribe