Travis Lau Lecture and Poetry Reading

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The CoLab’s Intersectionality Talks will be hosting a poetry reading from Travis Lau! The reading will be on Thursday, September 23, at 7:00pm in Frost House. For more information and to view Lau’s work, visit his website, here. His newest book, Paring, will be available for purchase at the reading.

Registration for the Zoom broadcast of the poetry reading is available here.

My poetic practice continues to offer me opportunities to engage with the multiple forms of pain I experience — a thinking through them, alongside them, with them, within them, beyond them. The arrhythmia of pain, its fleeting and polymorphic nature calls for a form that can witness it as accurately and fully as possible. I’ve found my work aspiring toward description — fragmented, lyrical accounts of the very fineness of embodied feeling. There is quiet power in this inhabitation of pain through language rather than a refusal or rejection of that pain as subject to annihilation.

Cover title of Lau's Paring

The Plymouth State University Sidore Lecture Series is also excited to host Travis Chi Wing Lau on September 24 in the Smith Recital Hall. 

This talk will turn to the late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth century debates over Edward Jenner’s campaigns to nationalize vaccination in Britain. Well before Andrew Wakefield’s retracted article in the Lancet claiming the MMR vaccine caused autism, opponents of Jenner’s vaccination like Benjamin Moseley and William Rowley decried vaccination as a violent, dangerous procedure that would corrupt the vaccinated, especially children, by reducing them to a bovine state. Lau makes the case that much of the current anti-autism bent of contemporary anti-vaccination discourse draws its rhetoric and affective strategies from long-standing ableist anxieties surrounding “cow mania,” a condition associated with the violation of species boundaries and with class tensions.

This should be a fascinating lecture and is free and open to the public. The presentation will also be available via Zoom.

Miranda Kaplan