D. Graham Burnett


On Friday the 9th of December, Burnett presented the final installment of the “Hark, the White Whale” series at the Providence Athenaeum. The event launched the publication of Burnett’s new book, The Sounding of The Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century, which is just hitting bookshelves in time for X-Mas (and at 815 pages, it hits with a thud…).

Burnett and Jeff Dolven were at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia on Thursday, November 17, to give a lunchtime lecture entitled, “Critique and Its Discontents: Notes toward a Post-Critical (?) Pedagogy.” More on the Society of Fellows here.

On November 12th, Burnett keynoted “Institutionalizing Interdisciplinarity” at Columbia University, sponsored by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. More info here.

Check out this essay (from Lapham’s Quarterly): Burnett on Hayden White, Heraclitus, Guatemala, Hegel, and a haircut.

Burnett and collaborator Sal Randolph showed work at the “Utopia” exhibition at CS13 in Cincinnati (through October 15). The editorial sub-committee of the Order of the Third Bird recently issued a pair of letters which appear to be from 1848, and published them as “The Clermont Connection: Evidences Bearing on Associationist Associations of the Order at Midcentury (The Robinson/Fairwright Correspondence).” Copies of the offprint were given away freely in the gallery, where one of the original texts is on display. For more on the exhibition, click here.

On Saturday, November 5, at BAM, Burnett will moderate “Antarctic Voyage,” a panel related the concurrent production 69°S by the artist group Phantom Limb. The panel features Jessica Grindstaff and Erik Sanko, Phantom Limb’s co–artistic directors, and Daniel P. Schrag, professor of geology and environmental science at Harvard University. For more on the event, see here.

Burnett presented on the “Laboratories of Risk” at the European Culture Congress in Wrocław, Poland, on the 10th of September. More on the whole event here.

Burnett and friends kicked off the 2011 Warhol Foundation “Arts Writers Convening” with a performance/practice of “The Order of the Third Bird” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the evening of Thursday, August 4. For more, see here.

On Wednesday, July 27, Burnett joined McKenzie Wark and Ali Dur at Cabinet in Brooklyn for a discussion of Wark’s new book on the Situationists, The Beach beneath the Street. For more, see here.

Burnett and a group of his collaborators and friends were in residency at Mildred’s Lane for the week of July 11–17, presenting on “The Order of the Third Bird,” a cult-like group of art-oriented theorists-practitioners with a mysterious history.

Burnett participated in the “Festival of Ideas for the New City” that took place in NYC, May 4–8. He worked a booth (Saturday, May 7, 5–7 pm) at “The University on the Bowery,” a pedagogical street project put together by Cabinet magazine and the New Museum.

On the 6th of May, Burnett and the artist Lisa Young screened a video collaboration at a joint session of the Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar and the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science. Click here for more info.


Burnett had a hand in organizing “Curiosity and Method,” a symposium on April 9 celebrating ten years of publication of Cabinet magazine. The all-day event took place at Princeton and featured a diverse group of writers and thinkers on some keywords that have been important in framing the Cabinet project. For more information, see here. Click here for a PDF of the poster for the symposium.

On Friday, March 18, Burnett hosted “Clipping, Copying, and Thinking,” a panel and launch event for A Little Common Place Book. Historian Ann Blair and poet Kenneth Goldsmith joined him for a ranging conversation on textual practices and the life of the mind. For more information, click here.

Does a poem have parts? Organs? Systems? How do they fit together? And can they be teased apart? On Friday, March 11, seeking to answer these questions, Burnett and Jeff Dolven hosted “William Carlos Williams: Anatomy of a Poem,” the latest installment of Cabinet’s Poetry Lab series. For more information, click here. See a write-up on the New Yorker‘s blog Book Bench here.

Burnett presented (with J. Dolven) a “Dream Talk” in San Francisco on the 3rd of March. The venue? “After Dark at the Exploratorium.” The event was part of “Art as a Way of Knowing”—a two-day symposium on knowledge and creativity. Click here for more.

On the 12th of February, in Toronto, Burnett was in conversation with David Gissen at the symposium “Architecture Is All Over” at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Sponsored by Work Books and OCAD. Click here for a PDF of the program.

Burnett and David Kaiser (MIT) co-hosted this year’s Princeton Workshop in the History of Science. The subject was the relationship between science and the counter-culture, 1955–1975. Feburary 4–5, at Princeton; pre-circulated papers. Click here for more information. Click here for a PDF of the poster for the workshop.

On Thursday the 27th of January Burnett hosted “Art, Truth, Lies: The Pleasures and Perils of Deception,” a panel discussion in the NYPL “Live!” Series. Guests included Glenn Lowry and Carrie Lambert-Beatty. Click here for more information. See a write-up in Artforum online here. Watch a video of the discussion here.