The Poetics of Nationalism

Newberry Teachers' Consortium
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. John Cutler, Northwestern University

The ethnoracial nationalist movements that arose in the U.S. in the late 1960s disrupted conventional understanding of the role of poetry in relation to politics and society. This seminar takes a comparative look at some major poets and texts of the Chicano, Black Arts, and American Indian movements. We will explore both the thematic concerns and formal innovations of poets as various as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Alurista, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Paula Gunn Allen. As we do so, we will review theories of literary nationalism, which tend to center on narrative forms, and consider the extent to which nationalist poetry represents an exceptional case. We will consider the following questions, among others: What kinds of nationalist logics does poetry summon and also challenge? How does the poetry of these nationalist movements circulate within regional and national print cultures? What can the poetics of nationalism tell us about the foundations of various multicultural literary fields?

Cost and registration information: 

Registration opens September 4, 2013.

For registration information please contact Charlotte Wolfe Ross at

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