Poetry's Publics and Counterpublics

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
ACLA 2021
contact email: 

This panel invites discussion on how poets have negotiated the construction of publics and counterpublics in our loosely defined contemporary moment. While writers have long been interested in the genre’s ability to foment and critique the production of virtual and actual modes of togetherness, we aim to address poetry’s engagements with collectivity after the rise of mass media and the opening up of political and aesthetic representation to diverse identities and electorates that defined the postwar period in the United States. What kinds of social bodies can texts and politics produce in this realm? What does the study of poetry reveal about historical shifts in the ways collectivity gets experienced and conceptualized? How have authors talked back to normative configurations of readerly and spectatorial audiences? And how might contemplating poetry’s relation to the changing norms of discourse in the highly visual, aural, and massified public sphere of social relations help us reframe debates about categories such as lyric, liberalism, nationalism, and democracy, and consider the ways these categories take on new meanings or lead complex afterlives in the mass-mediated arenas of the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries?

We particularly encourage discussions that focus on the construction or critique of publics around issues of race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, nationality, affect, and the climate crisis. Inquiries may be sent to amg737@nyu.edu and geronimo@uchicago.edu.

Submit 350 word abstracts via the ACLA online system by midnight EST, October 31st, here: https://acla.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/2/sessiongallery