From the circulation of poetic forms across different languages and traditions around the globe, through the envisioning of national and transnational discursive communities, to the use of poetry in contemporary episodes of political resistance and its dissemination on social media, lyric poetry seems to be a privileged site for an inquiry into community formation and its politics. Various theoretical approaches cast poetry in this peculiar role, from French and French-oriented political philosophy, (exemplified in the famous exchange between Maurice Blanchot and Jean-Luc Nancy begun in the 1980s), to the reevaluations — in reader-response criticism as well as in postcolonial and decolonial studies — of poetry’s roots in orality and performance.
This workshop aims to bring the investigation of historical poetic communities into dialogue with recent developments in the theory of the lyric and in theories of community. While discussing a variety of poetic phenomena in modern European poetry that have been at the center of the critical debate — the poetics of the fragment, the unworking or désœuvrement of the work, the obscurity or polysemy of language, a change of aesthetic regime —, the workshop will also explore the lyric, in its longer history and transnational features, as a particular discursive mode that may offer alternative models of community formation.
This symposium consists of three parts: an Oxford session at the Christ Church Research Centre, on 23 June 2022, a Berlin session at the ICI Berlin, on 5 July, and a poetry event, also on 5 July, at the ICI Berlin with Vahni Anthony Capildeo, Christian Hawkey, and Daniel Tiffany, who will read a selection of their poetry and offer their reflections on poetry, community and translation.
14:05 Introduction by Irene Fantappiè, Francesco Giusti and Laura Scuriatti
14:10 Jonathan Culler (Cornell): Lyric Address and the Problem of Community
14:25 Daniel Tiffany (University of Southern California): Logophobe
14:40 Francesco Giusti (Oxford): Gestural Communities: Lyric and the Suspension of Action
15:25 Laura Scuriatti (Bard College Berlin): Mina Loy’s Elusive Communities
15:40 Roberto Binetti (Oxford): Ecology of the Self and Lyric Communities in Italy’s ‘gruppi di autocoscienza’
15:55 Adele Bardazzi (Trinity College Dublin): Lyric and Weaving Communities
16:40-17:00 Coffee break
17:00-18:00 Discussion, coordinated by Manuele Gragnolati (Sorbonne Universitè/ICI Berlin)
In cooperation with ICI Berlin, Bard College Berlin, and EXC Temporal Communities of FU Berlin
With the support of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership