We regret to inform you that our keynote speakers Nancy Bauer and Martin Hägglund will not be able to attend our conference today and tomorrow. Our schedule remains the same, and there will still be a catered reception outside Smith Warehouse Bay 4 at 6:30pm. We hope to see you all there!

In lieu of Hägglund’s keynote, Professor Joshua Landy of Stanford will present a talk titled: “I’m like a Helicopter: For a Two-Point Theory of Creative Imagery.” 

Short abstract

Josh Landy, Stanford

“I’m like a Helicopter: For a Two-Point Theory of Creative Imagery” 

According to a now-standard theory, “Juliet is the sun” is supposed to be a “pregnant” metaphor, ready at any moment to beget a sprawling heap of adorable semantic puppies. Its two parts—“Juliet” and “the sun”—ostensibly meet at a virtually endless number of points, and it’s allegedly illuminating, enjoyable, or at least interesting to sit there all day spelling them out. But what if none of that is true? What if, instead, a successful creative comparison will tend to meet at exactly two points, the first of which makes it adequate, while the second gives it power? To put it metaphorically (as is only appropriate): a good poetic image is neither an iceberg (à la Cavell) nor a simple triangle (à la Aristotle) but a tetrahedron, a muscle, a covalent bond. And the telos of such images, I’ll propose, isn’t to transmit additional information but intensify, or disorient, or even—surprisingly—make us feel at home in this godawful world.