May 23, 2019
...Dodie Bellamy is on our mind: A lecture with Tonya Foster

Scat-singing is an exemplary process of talking shit, but it's also many other things. It’s a form of place-making. It involves the production of utterance that is only partially legible to some listeners some of the time. It’s a performance and deformation of the “authentic.” It is an invention and reconfiguration of beauty that appears as principle features of innovative and avant-garde Black expressive culture, wherein sites of illegibility—which also may be read or understood as sites of valuelessness—trouble the designations “beautiful” and “valuable.”

Tonya Foster, poet and assistant professor of Writing & Literature at CCA, shares some of her research on scat-singing with us in a lecture interspersed with audio and video clips. At the heart of this exploration is a sense that scatting and the scattered are bound up.

Tonya Foster was raised in New Orleans, LA. She is the author of the bilingual chapbook La Grammaire des Os and the poetry collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. A coeditor of Third Mind: Creative Writing through Visual Art, Foster has had work published in Best American Experimental Writing (2016), boundary2, Litscapes: Collected US Writings(2015), MiPoesias, Western Humanities Review, the Hat, and elsewhere.

This is the tenth event in our year-long season dedicated to themes and questions posed by the work of Dodie Bellamy.

Talking Shit: Bluster, Bluff, Braggadocio, and a Poetics of Illegibility, a lecture by Tonya Foster

6:30 pm