Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1955-1956, oil on canvas, 48″ x 36″ (121.9 cm x 91.4 cm) © 2019
Estate of Agnes Martin /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Organized by Ariel March Williams

Readings can be found HERE

Please email addsdonna@gmail.com to sign up and for meeting links.

This virtual study group will be centered around the feeling and concept of discomfort, from emotional disquiet or uncertainty, to physical pain or corporeal unease. What value can be found in the state of discomfort? How do the various experiences of discomfort inform and shape our lives? What does an uncomfortable present and future look and feel like? Readings will be both assigned and contributed by participants, and the trajectory of the study group is open to change. Visual, as well as written, contributions are encouraged. 

A note on diversity from the organizer: I have made a conscious effort to include authors and artists from a wide variety of identities, but I wish to be transparent by confessing that my own bookshelf is limited in its scope. This (uncomfortable) fact is folded into the theme of the study group, and I hope to discuss it openly while welcoming contributions and suggestions from participants. The reading list will continue to evolve as I source relevant readings from more biracial and indigenous folx and people of color. 

WEEK 1 - Sunday, October 11, 1PM CDT  -excerpts from Anne Dufourmantelle’s “In Praise of Risk” 
two poems by Wisława Szymborska from “Poems New and Collected”, 1957-1997 
(‘We Are Extremely Fortunate’ and ‘One Series of Events’)

WEEK 2 - Sunday, October 18, 3PM CDT -excerpt from Resmaa Menakem's My Grandmother's Hands: 
Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

WEEK 3 - Sunday, October 25, 1PM CDT -excerpt from The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry and chapters 
from Play it as it Lays, by Joan Didion

WEEK 4 - Sunday, November 1, 1PM CDT - "The Resident" from Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen
Maria Machado and "On the Perfection Underlying Life" lecture by Agnes Martin given at the ICA 
in 1973

WEEK 5 - Sunday, November 8, 1PM CDT - Zadie Smith, Elegy for a Country’s Seasons, Lynn Nottage + 
Lorna Simpson, ‘Submerged’ from T-Magazine, NYTimes, and Louise Glück's poem October

WEEK 6 - Sunday, November 15, 1PM CDT - "Capitalocene Violence" Chapter 4 of Against the 
Anthropocene by T.J. Demos and excerpt from Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

WEEK 7 - Sunday, November 22, 1PM CDT - excerpts from Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer; 
"It Takes an Ocean Not to Break" by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; "To the Lights that Never Went 
Out" by Natasha Tamate Weiss; excerpt from Decolonising Trauma Work: Indigenous Practitioners 
Share Stories and Strategies by Renee Lynn Broadbridge Legge Linklater

WEEK 8 - Sunday, December 6, 1PM CDT - excerpt from Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability 
Liberation by Sunaura Taylor; excerpt from When Species Meet by Donna J. Haraway


Reading to include but not limited to:

In Praise of Risk, Anne Dufourmantelle

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane Gay

Beasts of Burden, Sunaura Taylor

Play it as it Lays, Joan Didion

“On The Perfection Underlying Life”, Agnes Martin

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Eros the Bittersweet, Anne Carson

Poems (New and Collected), Wisława Szymborska

Being a Beast, Charles Foster

Close Range, Annie Proulx

Carmen Maria Machado

Han Kang

Franz Kafka

more TBD