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From Trauma to Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant-Garde

August  22 - 24, 2014


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From Trauma to Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant-Garde

From Trauma to Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant-Garde

This three-day symposium hosted by the MFA Program at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), brings internationally recognized writers, scholars, and students of the Asian Avant-Garde together in an experimental and creative setting. In keeping with the university's mission of forging understanding between East and West, participants will recover, examine, and place in historical context themes of miscegenation, aggression, and privilege within this global diaspora. We will explore the mental and aesthetic health of this community, from its beginnings in individual writers to its articulation as a movement, albeit one whose artistic integrity remains loosely defined and misunderstood by the much larger experimental poetic community.

Each day of the symposium offers participants and attendees rich opportunities for engagement and investigation of the multi-layered themes. As the conference title suggests, we start with trauma, recognizing the dimensions of the Asian Avant-Garde that are miscegenated, aggressive, schizophrenic, and resulting from privilege. After the 3-day journey together we move towards catharsis; we will discover ways for the subject of the Asian Avant-Garde to move onward and away from aggression and trauma, to write for and from healing.The format-bridging literary presentation, facilitated breakout sessions, and the participatory production of creative work will foster the development of a community that will carry this discussion forward well beyond the event itself.  

Curated by Sean Labrador y Manzano, conference presenters include: Bhanu Jacasta Kapil, D'Lo, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Monica Mody, Ronaldo Wilson, Targol Mesbah, Truong Tran, Mg Roberts, Ching-In Chen, Cheena Marie Lo, Barbara Jane Reyes, Geneva Chao, Soham Patel, Jai Arun Ravine, and Margaret Rhee.

This event is co-produced by ABD Productions.


3rd Floor, California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103


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The MFA in Writing and Consciousness is part of the Department of Writing, Consciousness and Creative Inquiry. We welcome writers and artists who are ready to do the following: Enhance their art, craft, and knowledge of both literature and consciousness, while taking their writing to a deeper level; Acquire professional skills such as teaching, grantwriting, editing, publishing and freelance writing; Develop experimental, multigenre, and/or multimedia projects or Work primarily within a single genre, whether fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction, staying open to developing their art and craft through the exploration of other genres; Discover new frameworks and meanings for their work as they claim their own literary lineages.