September 20, 2018 –
August 14, 2019
Dodie Bellamy is on our mind.

A year-long season of public events and conversation.
(learn more about our research seasons here and see past seasons here)

What is new about narrative? Is art ever honest? What is the "undeath" of the author? How do you make a mess of meaning?

What is "sickness" and who gets to define it? What is a body beyond its interior and its exterior? What happens to love when it clutches trauma? What is Barf art? What does the vulgar have to do with the poetic? How can excess and reason co-exist? Is the intellectual always in conflict with the libidinal? What kinds of intimacies can and can't be narrativized? Is anything sexier than don't tell anybody?

How can vulnerability and exposure become productive and political forces? Where are the tiny revolts? What are today's many feminisms? In what ways can the future be queered? Can art be a form of uprising? How do you depict a culture that isn't yours?

Can you ever trust a person with a neat bedroom?


From September 2018 to July 2019, with these (among other) questions providing a thematic focus and serving as points of departure, we host a series of public lectures, performances, screenings, and other events.

This research is informed by the work of the novelist and poet Dodie Bellamy. Read more about her here.


We began in September with a lecture about Dodie Bellamy by Andrew Durbin. Then, Dodie Bellamy read from her novel-in-progress and gave a talk about the internet. Then, a younger generation of local poets and writers, Linda Bakke, Michele Carlson, Victoria Gannon, Carlos Jackson, and Ismail Muhammad read from their newest work. Then, Sara Lyons presented her stage adaptation of Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark's books of email exchanges, I'm Very Into You. Then, Anne McGuire hosted an evening of films with Mike Kuchar. Then, Frances Stark discussed videos she made using sex chat rooms. Then, Joanna Fiduccia, Jennifer Nelson, and Carmen Winant launched the second issue of the journal Apricota, on Cults, Communes, and Collectives. Then, Young Joon Kwak and Kim Ye performed a new piece titled "Motherhood." Then, Tara Jepsen and Michelle Tea hosted an edition of JOSH, their stand-up comedy pop-up, in a local living room. Then, Tonya Foster talked about talking shit via bluster, bluff, braggadocio, and a poetics of illegibility. Then, Jack Halberstam presented a manifesto of nothingness with trans* readings of art, architecture, and literature. And check the calendar for updates about upcoming events.


On the occasion of this season, Bellamy and Kevin Killian are relaunching Mirage #4/Period[ical], a photocopied zine they co-edited between 1992 and 2009, publishing 155 issues. Beginning in September 2018, they are publishing 12 new issues, one per month. Each issue is available at the Wattis Institute. Click here for more information.


This series is made possible thanks to generous support from the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

The reading group includes Nicole Archer, Michele Carlson, Tonya Foster, Jeanne Gerrity, Lisa Heinis, Glen Helfand, Anthony Huberman, Trista Mallory, Anne McGuire, K.R.M. Mooney, and Marcela Pardo Ariza.

With special thanks to Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian.