The Social Self of Twentieth-Century Poetry (MSA November 2010; deadline 4/15/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Siobhan Phillips and Reena Sastri, MSA
contact email: 
skphill@fas.harvard.edu, reena.sastri@ell.ox.ac.uk

How is the lyric social? How do poets, poetic speakers, and poetry readers use or presume an intersubjective situation? Among literary genres of the twentieth century, poetry is often taken to be the least socially inflected, a description which slights the varying ways in which verse can engage common or mutual experience. This panel would resist such neglect, and bring together "new lyric studies" and twentieth-century aesthetics, by questioning a stark division of inner and outer in accounts of poetic subjectivity. We seek papers about modernist and contemporary verse that challenge the dichotomy of self and other, as well as the related dualisms of lyric and society, person and culture, poetry and history, and aesthetics and politics. How can we use ideas from philosophical, psychological, and sociological scholarship, as well as literary studies, to describe more accurately the connections between a lyric self and its contexts? How can we apply such formulations to significant instances of twentieth-century poetic practice?

Relevant topics may include address, apostrophe, collaboration, dedications, epistolarity, privacy, publication, quotation, performance, sincerity and authenticity, lyric freedom and social contingency. We are particularly interested in papers that develop a theoretical paradigm through close attention to an exemplary text.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a one- to three-sentence biographical statement by April 15th to Siobhan Phillips (skphill@fas.harvard.edu) and Reena Sastri (reena.sastri@ell.ox.ac.uk).

cfp categories: 
american
poetry
twentieth_century_and_beyond