Spring Quarter, 2018
Wednesday, April 11th, 12pm—Social Sciences 106 (note the unusual time and room)
Jahan Ramazani, University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor, University of Virginia
“Wallace Stevens, the Planet, and the Ecological Thought.”
Is Wallace Stevens a global poet? Or is he much less so than some of his contemporaries? One way to explore the worldwide reach of Stevens’s poetry, this essay suggests, is in terms of what ecotheorist Timothy Morton calls “the ecological thought,” an apprehension of human-nonhuman enmeshment on a planetary scale, as in later poems by writers like A. K. Ramanujan, Jorie Gra-ham, and Juliana Spahr.
Monday, April 23rd, 5pm—Harper 104
Avey Rips, Student, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, University of Chicago
“The Woods Are: Beyond a Symbolic Interpretation of ‘Stopping by Woods’”
This paper proposes a structural challenge to the many symbolic interpretations of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It then traces the status of language in the poem along lines of ownership and orientation, in order to suggest a reading that reconciles some of the issues that limit the aforementioned symbolic interpretations.
Monday, May 7th, 5pm—Harper 104
Eric Powell, PhD. Candidate, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
“Insect or Affect? John Ashbery’s ‘Daffy Duck in Hollywood,’ the Dramatic Monologue, and Lyric Theory”
This essay reads John Ashbery’s poem “Daffy Duck in Hollywood” as a limit case of the dramatic monologue, self-conscious of New Critical deployments of the form, to challenge the assumption of Jonathan Culler and others that the dramatic monologue is marginal to the lyric genre. It goes on to explore the implications of this claim for lyric theory.
Monday, May 21st, 5pm—Harper 104
Edgar Garcia, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
“Writing the Future”
This very short essay was written for a collection of Denkbilder or allegorical prose poems—inspired by the works of Walter Benjamin, especially his One-Way Street—that I co-edited for UK-based New Writing. I see this Denkbild as the seed for a larger project (still, a relatively slim book) on the poetry and poetics of divination, future-casting, market speculation, futureless futures, and everyday utopias. From the workshop conversation, I would be grateful for feedback that could help me to develop my research agenda (i.e. reading recommendations) as well as for thoughts on the fictocritical, prosimetric, object-immersive form in which this essay is written.