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Authors | Jason Camlot

Jason Camlot’s critical works include Style and the Nineteenth-Century British Critic and Language Acts: Anglo-Québec Poetry, 1976 to the 21st Century. He is also the author of four collections of poetry, Attention All Typewriters, The Animal Library, The Debaucher, and most recently, What the World Said. Camlot is Associate Professor of English and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Concordia University in Montreal.

Articles on Amodern by Jason Camlot


Theses on the literary reading series as a perceptible entity in the historical present, that: define it as an object of critical study, make claims for its significance within the discipline of literary studies, and identify the critical methodologies best used to make it discernible and material.


As digital migration and networking broaden the territory, possibilities and forms of humanities scholarship, audio recordings of literary performances present a rich new area for critical inquiry. The poetry reading series, as a literary and performance genre and temporal entity, demands special emphasis as it resists straightforward classifications and modes of presentation. How can we approach, understand and engage with “the poetry series” as a discursive formation, a historical occasion, and as a literary subject as we encounter it through a variety of print and sound media artifacts? This special issue of Amodern interrogates the poetry series by orienting a range of critical, archival, historical and creative interventions around a single poetry series from the 1960s and 70s. That event, called “The Poetry Series,” was originally preserved on a collection of reel-to-reel tapes and has recently been digitally re-animated as SpokenWeb, a digital spoken word archive for literary research. Individual contributions to this issue are episodes in critical, historiographic and creative framing, a means of rendering the poetry series – an ephemeral program of events – discernible again in the present. Taken together, this issue of Amodern makes an argument for an expanded literary historical critical practice that considers the challenges of migrating literary cultural artifacts and media to digital formats, that registers the specificities of a distinctly audiotextual criticism, that confronts the benefits and risks of recognizing poetics as media poetics and literary histories as media and institutional histories, and that assembles new communities of scholarly practitioners in an effort to understand this manifestation of literary performance, including literary and cultural critics, digital humanists and designers, archivists, librarians, audience members, sound technicians and oral historians.


Literary Archives in the 21st Century

Between April 26-27, 2013, the Whitney Humanities Centre at Yale University brought together a group of literary and information science scholars, historians, curators, archivists, writers, and publishers for a two-day symposium in the Beinecke Library, where they listened to papers and panel discussions and engaged in intensive discussion about the status of the literary archive in the 21st Century. For the “Beyond the Text” symposium, Al Filreis (University of Pennsylvania), Jason Camlot (Concordia University), and Steve Evans (University of Maine) were invited to conduct a panel discussion that considered the literary Sound Archive. What follows is a textual translation of the original discussion.


Things said at, and remembered about, poetry readings, c.1966/c.2014

Selected transcriptions of extra-poetic speech from The Poetry Series, 1966-1974, and SpokenWeb oral history interviews, 2012-2014.