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Christ Church


From the circulation of poetic forms across different languages and traditions around the globe, through the envisioning of local, national and transnational discursive communities, to the negotiations of poetic filiations and social positions, 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.

The symposium sets out to explore the ways in which lyric poetry enabled or imagined community formation from the 11th to 17th centuries in both European and Middle Eastern worlds, investigating a variety of topics: the direct exchange of poems; the sharing of poetic codes; forms of collective writing; individual or collective performance; lyric poetry as a collective practice; the construction of collective voices; the practice of commentary for and within specific communities; the composition and circulation of manuscripts and early printed editions; transhistorical and transnational poetic communities; multilingual and homosocial literary relationships; and the role of translation in community formation.

Speakers and discussants include Laura Banella (Notre Dame), Mattia Boccuti (Notre Dame), Dominic Parviz Brookshaw (Oxford), Nicola Carpentieri (Padova), Irene Fantappiè (Cassino), Francesco Feriozzi (Oxford), Nicola Gardini (Oxford), Sean Geddes (Oxford), Francesco Giusti (Oxford), Simon Gilson (Oxford), Manuele Gragnolati (Sorbonne/ICI Berlin), Julia Caterina Hartley (Glasgow), Lachlan Hughes (Oxford), Bernhard Huss (FU Berlin), Elena Lombardi (Oxford), Nicolas Longinotti (FU Berlin), Christine Ott (Frankfurt), Ryan Pepin (York), Pranav Prakash (Oxford), Jennifer Rushworth (UCL), Alice Roullière (Oxford), Francesca Southerden (Oxford), Almut Suerbaum (Oxford), and James White (Cambridge). Keynote lectures will be delivered by Virginia Cox (Cambridge) and Domenico Ingenito (UCLA)

The symposium is part of the Rethinking Lyric Communities project and aims to expand the inquiry begun with the two workshops funded by the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership and held at Christ Church (Oxford) on 23 June 2022 and at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry on 5 July 2022, which focused on modern and contemporary poetry.

This event is organised by Laura Banella, Irene Fantappiè, Francesco Giusti, and Nicolas Longinotti, with the support of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership, the Christ Church Research Centre, and the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. In cooperation with the EXC Temporal Communities at Freie Universität Berlin.


The programme can be found here.


*This is a hybrid event. To receive the link, please write to Nicolas Longinotti by Thursday 15 June 2023: