materia is a DLCL Focal (formerly Working) Group on anthropodecentric thinking. Since 2014, the group has served as a platform for graduate and faculty research. Our meetings combine reading discussion, student presentations, and guest speakers. Regular workshop meetings include some twenty-five participants from ILAC and Comp Lit (the pillars of the group), as well as from English, MTL, German, Anthropology, and Music, among others. We collaborate with several other groups on campus and correspond with similar projects in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Cognate courses, as well as completed and ongoing dissertation projects, speak to the continuing impact of the group. There have been sixteen workshops and an international conference to date. The former average twenty-five participants; the latter had over seventy. The convening theme for our fifth year of activities will be “Information and Form.”
Our session formats alternate to include discussions of readings moderated by faculty and graduate students, presentations of works-in-progress, and talks by guest speakers. Before all of our meetings we ask that our members read pre-circulated texts; either as background for talks and discussion or as the main conversation topic, they provide continuity and build-up across our sessions.
materia is a platform where the research interests of faculty and graduate students grow and take shape. We strive to exert a positive and significant impact on campus and within the field at large.