On Saturday, February 28, 1998 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, The Center for Language, Literature and Culture is sponsoring a "collective improvisation" or "experiment in dialogical thinking." Such experiments were conducted in the 1980s in Moscow by our colleague Michael Epstein at the Center of Experimental Creativity; Michael has since staged them at other universities in this country. The CLLC would like to bring this unique form of interdisciplinary exchange to our own campus.

We are seeking between 7 and 15 participants willing to devote several hours to the following exercise. Each member of the group will propose a topic, out of which one will be chosen by negotiation. An hour or so will be devoted to individual writing on the chosen topic, followed by individual reading and group discussion of each essay. Participants should be prepared to improvise on any topic, including the trivia of everyday life, from the angles of their professional discipline, personal experience or philosophical world view. They are also invited to become specialists in alternative, virtual or non-existent disciplines.

This improvisational session is what might be called a metaphysical assault on everyday things. It can also be identified with the task Richard Rorty has set for thinkers of the future: to be "all purpose intellectuals . . . ready to offer a view on pretty much anything, in the hope of making it hang together with everything else."

We have a comfortable and spacious room reserved for this event at the Turner Conference Center on Clifton Road. A complimentary lunch will be provided between morning and afternoon sessions of the collective. If you are interested in taking part in this event, please let me know by return e-mail. If you would like more explanation of what might transpire, contact Michael Epstein at or 7-2594. We plan to include graduate students as well as faculty, once we hear back from those of you who are interested.


When: February 28, 1998

Where: Emory University


Selected by majority: FROGS

Duration of writing: one hour.

Duration of the entire session: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

TEXTS (in the order of readings)

On Moscow Experiments. Toward Interdisciplinary Community: Collective Improvisations and the Realm of the Ordinary

by Mikhail Epstein

Your comments and suggestions are highly appreciated

Rosemary M. Magee

P. V. Rao

Walter L. Reed

Mikhail Epstein


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