Unearthing Ephemera: Retrieving the Extra-Poetic Work of 20th-Century American Poets (9/30/09; Montreal 4/7-11/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Lindsey Freer / CUNY Graduate Center
contact email: 

Unearthing Ephemera: Retrieving the Extra-Poetic Work of 20th-Century American Poets

Call for Papers, 41st Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

  • Montreal, Quebec - Hilton Bonaventure
  • April 7-11, 2010

As textual material which lives in the conditions of the moment of its creation, poetic ephemera—including letters, journals, artwork and other extra-poetic efforts—is often an ancillary aspect of projects dedicated to the collation and (re)publication of 20th-century American poetry. Yet the extra-poetic artifacts of our recent poetic past are not simply historical curiosities, but texts that can intervene and intersect with conditions and interpretations of the present. Given the decline of the academic monograph, how might archival exploration of ephemeral texts guide us not only to new analytical ideas, but also to new critical forms?

In examining this question, this panel seeks papers exploring emerging efforts in textual scholarship, specifically projects aimed at expanding the analytic scope trained on the New American Poetry through the retrieval of extra-poetic material. In making the ephemeral a central feature of their analysis, such projects draw poetry's recent past more firmly into our present moment, and in so doing, assist in shaping new forms of critical response.

Please submit 250-word abstracts to lindsey.freer@gmail.com. Include your name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, telephone number, and any A/V requirements. Please be aware that NeMLA charges a $10 handling fee for A/V equipment. The deadline for submissions is September 30th, 2009.

The 41st Annual NeMLA Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention will soon be available at www.nemla.org.

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