Ecologies of the Inhuman

Fluid, trees, humans, matter, post/apocalyptic, shipwreck, hewn, recreation, green, inhuman.

Coryate+astraOr: James Smith, Alf Siewers, Alan Montroso, Valerie Allen, Eileen Joy, me, Anne Harris, Lowell Duckert, Carolyn Dinshaw, Ian Bogost. Jeffrey Cohen conducting.

Or: Hugh of St. Victor, the Dream of the Rood, parasitic music, “measure,” 100 tiny apocalypses, Bob Dylan’s “Tempest,” arma Christi, Caesar’s parks, green men in the Norwich cloisters, a Lamborghini named “the beast.”

God, forests, song, triangles, early 21c publishing, the Titanic, 115 volts, politics, homelessness, fast cars & bullfighting…

Words to think by —

  • inspire and unsettle
  • we still live inside trees
  • music parasites the human
  • misrepresent more!
  • de-specialize thought!
  • the sudden shocking awareness that the vessels that have carried us this far are coming to pieces under our feet
  • the capacity of wood to respond
  • recreational ethics
  • I want more life!
  • the reality of (all?) metaphors

It’s hard to get yesterday’s whirlwind into coherence. I like it that way.

The gathering, a meeting of old friends and new, carried a strong whiff of potential, of things about to hatch. One formal gambit which I’ll certainly steal was Jeffrey’s method of introducing the ten of us: he read a few favorite sentences, unsourced, with the author’s name coming after, so that we were each preceded by sentences over which we’ve labored. Like Spenserian figures who are only named after their allegorical structures have been first laid out.

Lots to wrestle with at the event, but for now I want simply to enjoy working with people who write with such care and pleasure, such craft and energy.

I’ll share my talk on shipwreck, Bob Dylan’s new song about the Titanic, and eco-thinking in a later post.


  1. Thank you for this early response, and for your work. I very much enjoyed meeting you and can’t wait to see more of your thought and scholarship. Many, many thanks to MEMSI and GWU for bringing this panel together.

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