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Christ Church


Organised by Francesco Giusti (Christ Church, Oxford), Irene Fantappiè (Freie Universität Berlin) and Laura Scuriatti (Bard College Berlin) 

In cooperation with ICI Berlin and Bard College Berlin  

With the support of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership


Please register to attend by emailing by 20th June 2022


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, in fact, 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 of poetry’s roots in orality and performance in reader-response criticism, as well as in postcolonial and decolonial studies. These two workshops aim to bring the investigation of historical poetic communities into dialogue with recent developments in the theory of the lyric and theories of community. While discussing a variety of 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 workshops 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.  

Speakers and discussants include Derek Attridge, Adele Bardazzi, Roberto Binetti, Philip Ross Bullock, Jonathan Culler, Manuele Gragnolati, Karen Leeder, Peter D. McDonald, Emily McLaughlin, Jahan Ramazani, Daniel Tiffany, and Anita Traninger. The Oxford session also includes a conversation with poet Vahni Anthony Capildeo and the Berlin session an evening event with Vahni Anthony Capildeo, Christian Hawkey, and Daniel Tiffany, who will read a selection of their work and offer their reflections on poetry, community, and translation.