POSTMODERN POETICS AND THE PASTICHE
Please note this CFP is for a Special Sessions Panel to be held at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) for the November 3-5 2017 conference. Critical theorist, Fredric Jameson, in Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, defines pastiche as comparable to parody—“Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique, idiosyncratic style, the wearing of a linguistic mask, speech in a dead language.” As we query the connections between high and low art, and the role of popular culture set against popular culture, we should ask this question—Are postmodern poets writing in a “dead language?” Once a popular culture allusion is woven into a poetic text, does that pop cultural reference “die” in some regard? Popular culture feeds off of the energy of being new, fresh, happening, arising within a cultural moment; but, to place pop cultural references inside a poem, does that reify the pop cultural image, thereby setting up as a parody the newness that the pop cultural image presumes to offer? For example, the Chicago born poet, James Galvin (the spouse of poet, Jorie Graham), in a poem called “Postmodernism,” writes, “A pinup of Rita Hayworth was taped/To the bomb that fell on Hiroshima./The Avant-garde makes me weep with boredom./Horses are wishes, especially dark ones.” Galvin’s lines speak beautifully to the complex agenda of postmodern poetics—to strain the lyric to create a cultural hybridity of pop art juxtaposed against political commentary, as well as provide a glance backward toward postmodernism’s origins within modernism’s many varied movements, such as the Avant-Garde. The example of Galvin also points to the infusion of the postmodern poem with “dead” pop cultural artifacts; so, does the use of “dead” pop cultural artifacts, in turn, “deaden,” the life of the language that a postmodern poem uses? Also, for consideration are the historical demarcations of the modern versus the postmodern. The poet, Charles Olson, places postmodern poetry as emerging after 1945 and including an experimentation with language and form. Taking Olson’s historical marker of poems after 1945, examination of post-World War II poets and their place in defining postmodern poetics is also of topic. This panel welcomes papers on the topic of postmodern poets and their use of experimentation with language and form, with particular interest to how postmodern poets may use techniques such as the language poem, the found poem, collage, pastiche, or the montage as ways of purposely creating tension within a poem between low and high art, the subversive and the status quo and/or tradition, the poet and the political. Papers that seek to explore the meaning and definition of the postmodern poem (poetry emerging from 1945 to the present) and postmodern poetics are welcome, as well as papers that examine particular poets and their bodies of work, or particular poems. Creative writers and poets who see themselves as writing in the vein of the postmodern and wish to share their original/creative poems are also invited to join the panel (three to five poems). By June 1, please submit a 300 word abstract, CV, and A/V requirements to Dr. Paula Hayes, firstname.lastname@example.org.