North American Poetry2000-2020/1: Poetics, Aesthetics, Politics
14-16 October 2021, Institut Universitaire de France, Paris
Organized by Vincent Broqua (Université Paris 8), Olivier Brossard (Université Gustave Eiffel / Institut Universitaire de France), Abigail Lang (Université de Paris)
This is the closing conference of a 5-year research program on the history of US poetry and poetics, in relation with the Poets and Critics program in Paris.
What has been happening on the US poetry scene over the past twenty years? According to what criteria and principles can the field of US poetry be read today? In the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the scene was structured and defined by poetic, aesthetic, and political tensions: is this still the case today? Or should it be approached differently, by inventing new categories? How is poetry as a genre defined today, and particularly in relation to other genres, and other forms of art? How have the internet and digitization changed the production and distribution of poetry? Who or what authorities legitimize poetry? What relationships do poets develop with institutions? With academia? How is poetry taught? How does poetry redefine the uses of language? How does it incorporate languages other than English? How important is translation in North American poetry today? What privileged connections are being established between the poetry of the United States and the poetries of other countries, especially its North American neighbors (whether the Caribbean, Central America, or Canada)? Are the local and regional poetry scenes as active as in the 1960s? Or do poets tend to associate on a larger scale based on professed identities? How do gender, race, and class call for and enact redefinitions of the poetic spectrum? What are the sociological specificities of North American poetry today? What are the preferred forms for poetics and the critique of poetry? What forms does formal exploration assume?
The ambition of this conference is to explore the field of contemporary poetry in North America over the past twenty years and to identify the relevant notions and concepts that will allow us to map its current configurations. We invite papers which focus on English-language poetry as well as bilingual or multilingual works including English as one of their languages. We welcome submissions that question and recontextualize the term “North American.” We are particularly interested in groups, poets, and works that stem from the modernist and experimental traditions even as they may question and overturn this legacy. We also invite submissions focusing on poems and poetics, groups and distribution networks, the geography and sociology of North American poetry, with the hope that they will contribute to sketching a recent history of North American poetry.
Proposals for papers (English only) should include a brief abstract (300 words) and a short biographical note and be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 8, 2021.