November 7-8, 2002

“Lust for Life: The Writings of Kathy Acker,” a symposium to take place at New York University on November 7 and 8, will explore Acker’s work as a postmodern writer and feminist and her legacy for writers and artists today. It will also feature a reading from Acker’s work with Richard Foreman, Rick Moody, Sapphire and others.

The event will take place at the NYU Fales Collection, 3rd floor of the NYU Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square. It is planned in conjunction with the publication of Essential Acker: The Kathy Acker Reader, edited by Amy Scholder and Dennis Cooper and forthcoming from Grove Press, and with an exhibition of Acker’s manuscripts and drawings which will be on display at Fales. It is free and open to the public; for further information call (212) 998-2596. Space is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The symposium opens on Thursday, November 7, 6 p.m. with a presentation by Avital Ronell, professor of Germanic Languages and Literature and comparative literature at NYU and author of, among other works, Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania; and Peter Wollen. A discussion by the nationally recognized feminist scholar and literary theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick follows. At 7:30 p.m. the exhibition “Lust for Life: The Life and Writings of Kathy Acker” opens at the Fales Collection.

On Friday, November 8, scholars, writers and artists continue to explore Acker’s work and influence. Scheduled panels include:

  • 9:15 – 10:45 a.m. “Labyrinths of Gender”
  • 11-12:30 p.m. “Philosophy in the Bedroom”
  • 2-3:30 p.m. “Influencing Acker,” featuring early performance artist David Antin and author Robert Glueck
  • 4-5:30 p.m. Roundtable: “What is the question/problem/possibility that Acker’s work poses for you in your work” featuring such artists and writers as Nayland Blake, Carolee Schneemann, Sarah Schulman, and Lynne Tillman
  • 6 p.m. Reading: readings from The Essential Acker featuring readers Richard Foreman, Diamanda Galas, Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hanna, Rick Moody, and Sapphire.

The Fales Collection of English and American literature comprises more than 200,000 rare volumes and numerous manuscripts. DeCoursey Fales established The Fales Collection at NYU in 1957 with a gift of his personal library of 50,000 volumes, given in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. The Fales Collection is especially renowned for its Downtown Collection, which documents the Downtown New York art and literary scene from 1975 to the present and is the only collection of its kind at a major university. Included in the collection are the papers of such writers and artists as David Wojnarowicz, Dennis Cooper, Tim Dlugos, Ron Kolm, John Watts, and many others. Fales, located on the 3rd floor of Bobst Library, is also home to NYU Libraries’ special collections.

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