Working Group on Contemporary Cultures

lipstickFounded in 2012, Yale’s Working Group on Contemporary Cultures brings critics, writers, and artists together to discuss new movements in the arts, broadly defined.

Past visitors to the Working Group have included:

Ariana Reines * Lynne Tillman * Hal Foster * Rachel Kushner * Keston Sutherland * Matthew Specktor

To join the WGCC mailing list, email Caleb Smith (
Upcoming Events

  Friday, October 10, 2014, at 2pm in the Morse College Fellows’ Lounge: The Working Group on Contemporary Cultures presents a special seminar with the poet Rob Halpern. Halpern is the author of Rumored Place (Krupskaya 2004), Disaster Suites (Palm Press 2009), and most recently, Music for Porn (Nightboat Books 2011). Ugly Duckling Presse will publish Common Place in 2015. Together with Taylor Brady, Halpern also co-authored the book length poem Snow Sensitive Skin (Displaced Press 2011). His work has been translated into French and Montenegrin, and most recently, Disaster Suites was translated into Dutch as Rampensuites as part of the Contemporary Poetry in Translation series published by the literary arts foundation, Perdu. Halpern’s critical essays appear in Journal of Narrative Theory, Modernist Cultures, The Claudius App, and Chicago Review. He is also translating Georges Perec’s early essays on aesthetics and politics, which will appear as a collection in 2016 (Nightboat Books). He lives in San Francisco and Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he teaches at Eastern Michigan University and Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility.

For the Working Group, Halpern will lead a conversation about the questions and contexts addressed in his recent work, especially his forthcoming book Common Place. In preparation for the event, he will circulate a selection from the poetry, and he invites use to read Claudio Minca’s “The Return of the Camp” and a short excerpt from Jean Genet. To receive PDFs, please contact Caleb Smith (

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