Under the Dome: Paul Celan at 100 Celebration

Free and virtual reading and discussion of the great Romanian-born poet Paul Celan on the occasion of his 100th birthday with Judith Butler, Fady Joudah, and more guests TBD, hosted by Robert Kaufman.

Paul Celan (1920–1970) is considered one of Europe's greatest post-World-War II poets, known for his astonishing experiments in poetic form, expression, and address. His poetry, at times dealing directly with the personal aftermath of the Holocaust, has been a touchstone for so many since his passing, and his grappling with what poetry can mean or accomplish in the face of such atrocities has been a major reason why his legacy as one of the most important poets from the later half of the 21st century has endured so strongly.

Join us on the date of Celan's 100th birthday as we celebrate his life and writings with readings and discussion with special guests, especially highlighting three new books published on this occasion:

Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan by Jean Daive, translated by Rosmarie Waldrop with an introduction by Robert Kaufman and Philip Gerard
(City Lights Books)

Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry, a Bilingual Edition by Paul Celan, translated by Pierre Joris with Commentary by Pierre Joris and Barbara Wiedemann (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Microliths They Are, Little Stones: Posthumous Prose by Paul Celan, translated by Pierre Joris (Contra Mundum Press)

About the speakers:

Robert Kaufman is an associate professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also teaches in, and is past co-director of, the interdisciplinary Program in Critical Theory. Kaufman is the author of Negative Romanticism: Adornian Aesthetics in Keats, Shelley, and Modern Poetry (Cornell University Press in 2021), and is at work on two related books, Why Poetry Should Matter—to the Left: Frankfurt Constellations of Democracy and Modernism after Postmodernism? Robert Duncan and the Future-Present of American Poetry. His essays on modern poetry, aesthetics, and critical theory have been published in numerous journals and edited volumes.

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. They are the author of Frames of WarPrecarious LifeThe Psychic Life of PowerExcitable SpeechBodies that MatterGender TroubleThe Force of Nonviolence, and with Slavoj Žižek and Ernesto Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality.

Fady Joudah has published four collections of poems, The Earth in the AtticAlightTextu, a book-long sequence of short poems whose meter is based on cellphone character count; and, most recently, Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. He has translated several collections of poetry from the Arabic and is the co-editor and co-founder of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He was a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007 and has received a PEN award, a Banipal/Times Literary Supplement prize from the UK, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Houston, with his wife and kids, where he practices internal medicine.