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Erring Together: Some Notes on Distortion, Art, and Others is a Course

Erring Together: Some Notes on Distortion, Art, and Others


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Full course description

Thursday, November 9, 2023 | 7:00-8:30PM (ET) | Hybrid Lecture


Higgins Room 300, Higgins Hall at Boston College 140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467 and Online via Zoom


This event is free to the public, please use the promotional code LERNER23 to register at no cost.

This event is $25 for practitioners seeking CEs for this lecture. As per the credentialing bodies, we can only grant CEs for synchronous attendance of events (online or in-person). Please pay and register for the lecture so that we may keep track of your attendance. Your CE registration status may not be changed after the event.


In this talk, poet and novelist Ben Lerner will consider some of the possibilities of aberrant perception – how common auditory and visual distortions, for instance, allow them to experience the constructedness and messiness of the human sensorium. What are some of the aesthetic and social possibilities opened up by hearing the limitations of their hearing or seeing the shared blindspots in their sight? What would it mean to ground the teaching of art and literature in an awareness of the ways they err together? Lerner's goal is to arrive at an optimistic reading of Niklas Luhmann’s quote that “communication is improbable”-- to refresh the wonder before the fact that there are moments, however fleeting, of common sense.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Assess the relation between art and the social.
  2. Define a contemporary novelist's understanding of "fractured time".
  3. Explain the import of contemporary literature on clinical psychology.

Timeline and Requirements:

This lecture is presenter-led and is a hybrid experience. This will be conducted synchronously online and in person at Higgins Room 300, Higgins Hall at Boston College 140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467 and Online via Zoom) from 7:00-8:30PM (ET).

CE Sponsorship: 

Participants must attend the lecture in full and complete the post-event survey to be eligible to receive CEs. This lecture does not offer CEs for other clinicians not listed below.

University Counseling Services of Boston College is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. As a co-sponsor of this program, University Counseling Services of Boston College maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Participants will be eligible to receive 15 CE units from University Counseling Services of Boston College.

This program has been approved for 1.5 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. NASW-MA Chapter CE Approval Program Authorization Number D92223.

CEs for LMHCs are not available for this lecture.

Fees & Policies:

This event is free if you are NOT seeking CEs towards your license. If you plan on seeking CEs for this lecture, the cost is $25. Once you have registered for the class, your CE registration status is fixed and can not be adjusted at a later time.  

Payment is due by credit card at registration. Registration closes November 9 at 7pm. Refunds will be granted only up to the time of the lecture. 

This lecture is made possible through the support of Grant 62632 from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed by these presenters do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. If you need to request an accommodation or ask a question about accessibility, please contact

Additional offerings from the Lynch School Professional & Continuing Education Office can be found on our website


Ben Lerner is the author of four books of poetry (The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, Mean Free Path, and The Lights), three novels (Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04, and The Topeka School), and a work of criticism, The Hatred of Poetry. He has published several collaborations with artists, including Blossom (with Thomas Demand) and The Snows of Venice (with Alexander Kluge). His essays can be found in Harper's, Poetry, The London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Lerner has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, Howard, and MacArthur Foundations. He's been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (fiction), the National Book Award (poetry), and the National Book Critics Circle Award (fiction). Recent honors include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for The Topeka School, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times.