ACLA 2017: Poetry After Europe: Geopolitical Poetics in the 21st Century

deadline for submissions: 
September 23, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association

Poetry After Europe: Geopolitical Poetics in the 21st Century [or does the subtitle dilute the force of “Poetry After Europe?”]



  • Walt Hunter (Clemson University)
  • Shirley Lau Wong (Westfield State University)


As the recent events of Brexit have made clear, our sense of geopolitical borders and communities is shifting seismically in the 21st century. How then are we to understand poetry within this potentially post-European new world order? Or to reframe this question more provocatively, what is the place of poetry after Europe? This seminar will investigate how contemporary poetry appears on a historical stage filled with the nostalgia for empire and the resurgence of ethno-nationalisms, xenophobia and refugee “crises,” deepening economic inequality and political disregard of the economically and socially precarious, the failure of the utopian promises of the EU, and more. What are the poetic forms that have emerged in tandem with the massive global displacements, uprootings, dislocations, revolutions, and migrations of the twenty-first century? In other words, how do we read the poems of the twenty-first century?


This seminar also builds on the 2016 ACLA Presidential Address, “Worlds of World Poetry,” and Roundtable “Comparative Poetics and the Question of ‘World Poetry.’” Topics might include:

  • Poetic nationalism, transnationalism, globalism, planetarity, and/or cosmopolitanism
  • Reverberations of Brexit on poetry from England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and beyond
  • Geopolitics of poetic trope and scheme

We welcome papers that cross periods and languages and/or attempt new comparative methodologies.


Utrecht University is hosting ACLA 2017 over the weekend of July 6-9. Please submit paper proposals (max. 250 words) through ACLA’s website at Deadline to submit a proposal is September 23 (midnight Pacific Standard Time).