CFP: [Poetry] Rhythm in C20 British Poetry (Lyon, France) (4/30/09; 11/13/09-11/14/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Lacy Rumsey
contact email: 

Call for papers: Rhythm in Twentieth-Century British Poetry
Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines (ENS LSH), University
of Lyon, France, November 13-14, 2009.
Conference organised on behalf of the Société d’études anglaises
contemporaines (SEAC).
Keynote speaker: Derek Attridge (University of York)
Convenors: Lacy Rumsey (ENS LSH), Simon Jarvis (University of Cambridge),
Paul Volsik (Université Paris Diderot)
The twentieth century was one of great change in poetic rhythm in
English-language poetry, in Britain as elsewhere, seeing the powerful
spread of free or non-metrical forms, continued strength and innovation
within the metrical tradition, and â€" lying between the best-known examples
of modernist free verse and the most recognisable metrical forms â€" a vast
range of rhythmic experiment of all kinds, much of which falls outside the
dominant paradigms for apprehending poetic rhythm.
The century’s closing decades also saw significant changes in the models
used to describe and understand poetic rhythm. Much contemporary work in
prosody uses ideas and models drawn from linguistics to further the
understanding and criticism of poetry. Such work has permitted advances in
the apprehension of the multiple facets of rhythm in both its linguistic
and its psychological aspects, including an exploration of its relationship
to metre, intonation and phrasing; it has also helped renew attempts to
theorize rhythm’s role in the construction of meaning. Despite this, a
great deal of the twentieth century’s best and most interesting British
poetry remains, with regard to its rhythm, under-described, and criticism
more generally seems to steer clear of what is often seen as an essential
but difficult topic. This conference will seek to provide an occasion for
dialogue between criticism and prosody, in the hope of improving
understanding of a rich, various and powerful period for British poetry.
    Papers will be welcomed on any aspect of the theory and practice of
poetic rhythm in twentieth-century British poetry, with possible topics and
approaches including:
- accounts of individual poets’ rhythmic practice;
- problems and opportunities for rhythmic analysis thrown up by single
poems or groups of poems;
- period styles and their historical and cultural connotations;
- the place of rhythm in debates over poetic canon, tradition, school;
- mutations of particular metres or stanza forms;
- rhythms associated â€" rightly or wrongly â€" with particular national,
regional, dialect, class or community identifications;
- the rhythms of music and song as they relate to poetry;
- rhythm and cognition;
- the place of prosodic ideas â€" notions of rhythm, metre, the foot, the
beat â€" in poets’ compositional practice;
- poets as prosodic theorists and commentators;
- the relationship between metrical and non-metrical language;
- free verse as a ‘period style’ (Marjorie Perloff);
- the influence of, and on, other national traditions (American, Irish,
- issues of performance: accent and beat placement, metrical choice,
contexts of reading, rhythm in private and public performance;
- the relationship of scansion to literary theory, of prosody to poetics;
- “rhythm” in its looser sense of the structure, pattern, movement of a
text or body of work.
Proposals for 25-30 minute papers, in English or in French, should be sent
before April 30, 2009 to:
Lacy Rumsey:
Simon Jarvis:
Paul Volsik:
Selected proceedings will be published in a special number of "Etudes
britanniques contemporaines".

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Fri Feb 13 2009 - 09:19:32 EST