Poetry and Identity: Shaping and Sharing the Trauma of Displacement (NeMLA 2020 - Panel)

Lucie Houdu's picture
Call for Papers
September 30, 2020
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Languages, Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy

This panel will broach the topic of shaping a poetic identity through the prism of a traumatic experience of displacement. How does the poet present a disturbing personal history on the page? Coming from one place and being forcibly moved to another also involves confronting a different language and culture: how is such an occurrence translated to the page? Is poetry a space where cultures and languages clash with one another, or does the expression effect a reconciliation? How does this potential blend of languages and cultural references (including code-switching and code-mixing) inscribe a troubled identity, trying to reconstitute oneself via a poetic text? Could we go as far as to say that, in an attempt to reconstruct a shattered identity, the poetic body of the text may be a reflection and register of displacement itself? And if so, how is the reader to respond? Is it visually (how is the layout arranged? Are there any unusual elements or ruptures with the traditional poetic codes?), or aurally (is the hearing tickled by any peculiar resonance or repetitive patterns, for instance)? To what extent does sharing a disrupted poetic text interrogate the very notion of Self and Otherness?

This panel aims to examine and compare poetic expressions from various times and places, which can be multilingual, multimodal, and so on (poems from volumes, blends of visual art and poems, performance poems, slam poetry, to name just a few possibilities), and to examine how poets from diverse backgrounds have tried to contextualize, re-shape, redefine, and/or resolve their own traumatic experiences through different poetic expressions.

Contact Info: 

Please submit your abstract through the NeMLA website.

You will be asked to register (for free) at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login.

Then look for session 18043 and submit your abstract.

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