Cluster for Talisman on Poetics and Materialism

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

Contributions are sought for a prospective peer-reviewed cluster for Talisman on Poetics and Materialism.

A simple approach to the question of materialism and poetry might link it to the notion of Michael Fried’s “objecthood” (1998) where objects are distinguished from art in their tangibility. Poetry, in that case, would be even further from objecthood, if we are to perceive poems as simply bags of words opened up at moments of access. Theorists since Fried have argued, rather, that the material is less about the object itself and more about action, that the material shapes and demarks time, and that it is a matter of bundles (Keane 2005), entanglements (Hodder 2012), assemblages (Deleuze and Guattari 2007; DeLanda 2006) or meshworks (Ingold 2011; see Van Dyke 2015)). As Karen Barad argues, materialism is the “dynamic articulation [or] reconfiguration of the world.” These instances of action occur in the space of time and are, therefore, instantiations of the now and of the context of the moment, as in material language, a consequence of the art-poetry interrelationship whose roots are manifest in contemporary practices like Flarf, Conceptual Writing, and Digital Writing.

We invite proposals examining and challenging poetics and materialism, particularly in approaches that take the term of materialism beyond economics or a simple emphasis on monetary value.

Within this broad area, topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • --Approaches to Martin Heidegger’s conception of Sounding
  • -- Structures around Donna Haraway and Karen Barad’s notions of Diffraction
  • -- Issues related to penchants for or the foregrounding of material
  • -- Attentions to cloth or fabric but also to the material of the poem
  • -- Focuses on raw materials or components
  • -- Strategies emphasizing the facts, information, and/or ideas used in creating the work
  • -- Considerations of the physical as opposed to the spiritual
  • -- Concerns with physicality, with the concrete, the substantial, and/or the visible
  • -- Connections to the essential, the relevant, the consequential, and/or the tectonic
  • -- Methods concerning the matter at hand, to what sets up the applicable or germane

Contributions will be conference-paper length (approximately 3,000 words) and peer-reviewed as a unit. Please send your submission to Elisabeth Joyce at by December 15, 2017.