Poetry and Precarity in the 21st Century (ACLA 2014, 20-23 March, NYU)

full name / name of organization: 
Charles Legere, Walt Hunter / American Comparative Literature Association

Our seminar stakes out a set of texts, terms, and questions for engaging how poems materialize experiences of precarity within the shifting, ubiquitous demands of capital. Given the rapid expansion of critical discourse around the concept of precarity, and the potential fetishism of the concept itself, we also aim to situate the discourse of biopolitics, social death, normativity, and grievability in relation to Marxist, feminist, and anarchist approaches to questions of labor, accumulation, reproducibility, possession, autonomy, debt, and risk. By placing these critical discourses in relation to the formal experiments of 21st-century poetries, we hope to generate a more definite language for how experiences of precarity are particularized, and perhaps remain unassimilable, within the global systems of capital value and valuation. The core interest is how these tensions of precarity are lived out, or through, on the scale of everyday experience, and how poetry gives form to these uneven histories of living.

We invite papers addressing a wide range of global poetries of the 21st century, particularly papers which take up, problematize, or expand on questions of:

Post-Fordist and Keynesian Economics
Affect Theory
Cognitive versus Contingent Work
History of the Lyric
World Literatures
Textuality and Embodiment
Debt Culture
Experiences, Calculations, and Managements of Risk
Slow Death or Life-in-Death
Cultures of Surveillance or Coercion
Constant vs. Variable Capital

Please submit proposals of 250 words to http://www.acla.org/submit/, seminar selection "Poetry and Precarity in the 21st Century." Proposals must be received by November 1.