[Msa-discuss] Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK, 27 Feb. 2016 (London)

Wang, Dorothy dwang at williams.edu
Mon Nov 23 10:34:18 EST 2015

           Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK

Call for Contributions

University of Sussex and the Poetics Research Centre, Royal Holloway,
University of London present:

Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK

9.30am-6pm, Saturday 27th February 2016

Bedford Square, London

In 2015, discussions about race and contemporary poetry and poetics in
North America have dominated creative and critical communities.
Following Boston
Review’s forum on ‘Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde
co-curated by Dorothy Wang, boundary 2 published the dossier ‘On Race and
Innovation <http://boundary2.dukejournals.org/content/current>’ this
November. The Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo continues to mobilise
social media, disseminating their anti-racist and anti-colonial campaigns.
The whiteness of the avant-garde and conceptual art and poetry has been
disclosed, and readers, writers, and critics are asked to consider their
complicity in a movement inextricable from its racialized and possibly
racist origins.

How do these discussions relate to poetry and poetics in the UK? How do
readers, writers, and critics address the complexities of social and
political histories and contemporary realities of race in British and Irish
contexts? How do racialized assumptions structure and determine English
language poetics and aesthetics? Why are the intersections between literary
tradition and contemporary practice and post-colonialism, diaspora, racial
identity and inequality so rarely addressed? This year, Claudia
Rankine’s Citizen:
An American Lyric won the Forward Prize for Best Collection; Andrea Brady
published an article stating ‘The White Privilege of British Poetry is
Getting Worse
and Paul Gilroy discussed racism in Britain in the interview ‘What “Black
Lives” Means in Britain’. Furthermore, the issues of the pressures on
multiculturalism – with rising xenophobia, racialized policing, immigration
policy and detention, and material inequality stratified along racial lines
– hold great significance for the current of cultural production in the UK.
This event will create a platform for questions, dialogues, and
collaborations in response to the subject of race and poetry and poetics in
the UK.

We invite contributions in the form of short presentations (10-15 minutes),
workshop activities (25-50 minutes), topics and texts for group discussion
(25-50 minutes), and poetry readings and performances. We hope to schedule
two panel discussions and two workshops during the day (at Bedford Square),
and a programme of poetry readings and performances in the evening (venue
to be confirmed).

We intend to record presentations, readings, and performances, and to make
them available on our website. It is our hope that the questions,
dialogues, and collaborations initiated by the event will continue online.
This event is part of a larger project, which will include further events,
digital media, and creative and critical publications.

If you would like more information about this project, or if you would like
to get involved, please contact: racepoetrypoetics at gmail.com. Website
(under construction): www.rapapuk.com.


Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK is an international research group
founded by Dr Sam Solomon (University of Sussex) and Professor Dorothy Wang
(Williams College). The steering committee, which includes Professor Robert
Hampson (Royal Holloway, University of London), Nat Raha (University of
Sussex), and Dr Nisha Ramayya, is organising a programme of events and
activities that will take place at various sites in the UK,
internationally, and online.
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