Maria Dikcis, Northwestern University | Newberry

Maria Dikcis, Northwestern University

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

5:30 to 7pm

Center for American History and Culture Programs
American Literature Seminar

Television, National Belonging, and Retro-Ephemerality in Tan Lin’s Insomnia and the Aunt (2011) and Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004)

This paper analyzes the “televisual” poetics of texts that expose epistemologies of perception, ideological programming that reproduces conditions of societal racism, and the non-assimilability of immigrant life to American broadcasting. Insomnia and the Aunt and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely treat TV as a structure of national belonging inscribed by “dominant” and “minority” cultures alike. Content that feels anachronistic to the presentism of television watching conditions the recuperation of forgotten televisual archives. Extended historical analysis of segregationist broadcasting and public television’s cultural pluralism reveals how minority engagement with disseminative, yet insulating media such as TV closely mirrors forms of construction native to poetry.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.