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Poetry and Capitalism

ENGL 4980.303
Thursday 3:30-6:29pm


What does literature know about political economy, race, and value? How do we pose the question of the relation between poetry and capitalism? This course will suggest that problems of language, work, and power are central to the study of contemporary poetry and experimental writing. We will be concerned specifically with the extent to which various poetic trajectories in North America and the Greater Caribbean illuminate and are illuminated by the social configurations of neoliberal globalization, i.e., transnational capitalist processes from the 1970s onward. In so doing we will emphasize that colonialism, racism, and imperialism are constitutive and ongoing features of the capitalist world-system. How might these histories of social conflict transform our knowledge of the experimental work and the philosophy of language? Students will be introduced to various interactions of Marxist social theory with the field of poetry and poetics. Readings may include work by Amiri Baraka, Kamau Brathwaite, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Iyko Day, Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Julia Fields, Lyn Hejinian, Erica Hunt, Édouard Glissant, Gayl Jones, Myung Mi Kim, Benjamin Krusling, Tanya Lukin-Linklater, Colleen Lye, Lorine Niedecker, Christopher Nealon, Nathaniel Mackey, Karl Marx, Layli Long Soldier, Fred Moten, Christopher Rey Perez, M. NourbeSe Philip, Cedric Robinson, Leslie Scalapino, V. S. Vološinov, Hannah Weiner, Raymond Williams, Simone White, and Sylvia Wynter.



English Major Requirements
  • Sector 1 Theory and Poetics (AETP)
  • Sector 2 Difference and Diaspora (AEDD)
  • Sector 6 20th & 21st Centuries (AE20)
English Concentration Attributes
  • 20th-21st Century Concentration (AE21)
College Attributes
Additional Attributes