NeMLA 2022 - Contemporary Poetry and Social Media
This roundtable will convene literary and media scholars with poets themselves to explore the present and future of poetic cultures online, both in the U.S. and around the world. Our largest question can be simply put: to what extent have platforms for digital “prosumption” and online networking transformed the social life of contemporary poetry? We understand this inquiry to entail a diverse array of other, finer pointed questions: How does social media now condition the politics of contemporary poetry, where “politics” signifies both the institutional lifeforms of poetry’s production and circulation, and the ostensible public efficacy of poems themselves? How are poetry’s relationships to social movements today—#BLM in the U.S., for example—mediated by social media? How do the logics of “surveillance capitalism” fueling social media platforms themselves inflect literary cultures online, and how have poems responded to these new formations of capital? How have poetry’s pre- or non-digital communities and institutions reacted and adapted to social media? Has social media altered poetry’s formative relationship to the school and classroom, for instance? How are relations between social media and poetic community shaped by the specificities of different national contexts and cultural traditions? What indeed are the possibilities and revealing limits of social media for a putatively “global” poetics? How ought we to understand the new genres to which social media has given rise, including Instagram Poetry and that most recent updating of the occasional lyric, the “viral poem”? Has social media altered the terms of the avant-garde’s historical commitment to new technologies? Has it meaningfully remade popular audiences for poetry? How do older poetries and their modes of circulation revealingly anticipate our digital present, and how are present conditions reflected, critiqued, and reimagined in poems themselves?
Please upload your proposed abstract (~250 words) to the NeMLA portal (https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login) by September 30, 2021.