Jena Osman's "Motion Studies" in convo w/ Mary Ebeling

Please join us for a celebration of Jena Osman's new book, MOTION STUDIES,
feat. a reading by the author, 
followed by a discussion with Mary Ebeling!


Motion Studies consists of three essay-poems that begin as meditations on 19th century science and end firmly as research into the present. From chronophotography to algorithmic surveillance, from phrenology to fMRI brain scans, from Victorian specimen collections to the bleached bones of the Great Barrier Reef, each poem in this collection explores technologies of knowing each other and the world we’re in.

"What energizes this work and makes it so compelling to move through is how much it allows the reader’s body and mind to be activated and integrated while reading. Jena Osman’s Motion Studies measures, dissects, and dissects the dissector whenever it wants. It marvels, it studies, it makes a weaving of science, poetry, and testimony. It is a study of instruments and torture, of the unraveling of a question; it is a defense of the heart’s electromagnetic intelligence, and, in its most secret moments, it is a novel of days. Brilliantly conceived and rendered."—Renee Gladman

"In Jena Osman’s brilliant Motion Studies, you’ll find incisive focus—not despite—but because of alarm. A tour de force of documentary, speculative fiction, film criticism, and lyric jump cuts, Motion Studies plies surveillance, pseudoscience, and the commodification of the living into three long works that drive further Osman’s vital decade-spanning investigation of power, human displacement, and erasure. Like dead coral and wreckage sedimented on a seabed, a violent record is legible in this layering; Osman reminds us of this. Plus, she recasts a bird as the lead in Spielberg’s Minority Report. That’s got to move you."—Douglas Kearney

JENA OSMAN’s books of poems include Motion Studies (Ugly Duckling Presse), Corporate Relations (Burning Deck), Public Figures (Wesleyan University Press), The Network (Fence Books, National Poetry Series selection), An Essay in Asterisks (Roof Books) and The Character (Beacon Press, winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets Prize). Osman was a 2006 Pew Fellow in the Arts, and has received grants for her poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Howard Foundation, and the Fund for Poetry. She co-founded and co-edited the literary magazineChain with Juliana Spahr from 1994-2005. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program at Temple University.

MARY EBELING is associate professor of sociology and director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Drexel University. Mary is an ethnographic sociologist and researches the intersections of marketing, health, biomedical science and digital life. Her book Healthcare and Big Data: Digital Specters and Phantom Objects (2016, Palgrave Macmillan) focuses on data brokers, data mining, marketing surveillance, private health data, and algorithmic identities. Her forthcoming book The Afterlives of Data extends her earlier book to examine how we are subjects of data and of debt (2021, University of California Press). Her work has received support from the National Science Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the European Union (5th Framework Programme). She was a fellow at the Wolf Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017-18.

This event is co-sponsored by The Women's & Gender Studies Program at Drexel University
and Drexel University's College of Arts & Sciences!

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Motion Studies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946433237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ugly Duckling Presse - May 6th, 2019

Healthcare and Big Data: Digital Specters and Phantom Objects Cover Image
ISBN: 9781137502209
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Palgrave MacMillan - September 28th, 2016