Burn This: A Talk on Narrative, Performance and Impasse


“What is possible in the place where the work stops, or is stopped? Bhanu Kapil will speak from her own practice, with an interest in impasse as the place (in writing) that generates the conditions for performance. How might performance memory be returned to narrative as syntax? To what extent does narrative retain the scratches (or atmosphere) of impasse? These are questions towards a talk that can’t be written but only made.”

“Bhanu Kapil is the author of six books, most recently How To Wash A Heart (Pavilion), the winner of the TS Eliot Prize, and a British edition of Incubation: a space for monsters (Prototype, 2023). A non-identical U.S. edition, with writing on performance and shame, has also just been published by Kelsey Street Press. A Fellow of Churchill College and the Royal Society of Literature, Kapil is based in Cambridge. A recipient of a Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University and a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors, she is writing a novel, The Secret Garden.”