Ars Metrica

Cfp La poésie contemporaine, les médias et la culture de masse / Contemporary poetry, media, mass culture

Con­tem­por­ary po­etry, me­dia, mass cul­ture

ELTE, Bud­apest, 19-21 Septem­ber 2019

In West­ern cul­ture, from the Middle Ages to nowadays, con­tem­por­ary poetry’s pub­lic and ways of re­cep­tion have al­ways var­ied. One can ob­serve of­ten a dis­tan­ci­ation between in­nov­at­ive po­etry (some­times deemed “com­plex”), and the mass of po­ten­tial read­ers. There are sev­er­al reas­ons for which this dis­tan­ci­ation may have happened, dur­ing the 20th cen­tury, such as the ex­ter­i­or­isa­tion of hu­man memory on vari­ous ap­par­at­uses, from books to di­git­al sup­ports, it seems re­pla­cing the prac­tice of mem­or­iz­ing po­etry.

If po­etry at the turn of the 19th and 20th cen­tury had been par­tic­u­larly per­ceived as an in­tel­lec­tu­al, com­plex and po­ten­tially ab­stract art, many con­tem­por­ary po­ets (such as Kev­in Kil­lian or Anne Wald­man in North Amer­ic­an po­etries) con­tin­ue to look for in­spir­a­tion in mass cul­ture, and di­vert it or in­cor­por­ate it in their texts.

Use of new tech­no­lo­gies in po­et­ic cre­ation and per­form­ance can can res­ult in the re­con­nec­tion with read­ers, who are not only read­ers, but act­ive users of screens. Pro­duc­tions such as video­poems, use of on­line tech­niques and know­ledge, or even de­vel­op­ment of po­etry on new me­dia (blogs, so­cial net­works) to give a few ex­amples of the cur­rent trends of po­etry mak­ing use of the con­tem­por­ary me­dia. Be­sides, po­et­ic per­form­ance art de­velopped as a co­rol­lary to the new me­dia, such as us­ing tape in the 1950s, the sound amp­li­fic­a­tion sys­tems, and more re­cently, mul­ti­me­dia devices. As a res­ult it seems that po­et­ic per­form­ance, po­etry read­ings, po­et­ic films reach a lar­ger pub­lic, who may prefer to see and hear po­etry, some­times as an al­tern­at­ive to books.

This con­fer­ence fo­cuses on the dy­nam­ics between po­etry and the audiovisual/social me­dia in con­tem­por­ary west­ern so­ci­ety. We would like to ques­tion typ­ic­al tend­en­cies in con­tem­por­ary po­et­ic com­pos­i­tion, per­form­ance and po­etry con­sump­tion, in the light of in­ter­sec­tions between the po­et­ic word, its son­or­ity and (still and mov­ing) im­ages. Pa­pers will seek to ad­dress the fol­low­ing ques­tions, among oth­ers:

How do po­ets pro­ceed in their re­la­tion to pop­u­lar or mass cul­ture? How does mass cul­ture en­rich their po­et­ics? Does it help them to reach a lar­ger audi­ence? On what con­di­tions pop­u­lar or mass cul­ture be­comes as­sim­il­ated and then re­leased to com­mon use in con­tem­por­ary po­et­ics?

How has po­etry been altered by pub­lic per­form­ances (sound po­etry, slam, post­po­etry…), and eph­em­er­al pro­duc­tions of a world al­low­ing us to re­cord and stock data?

How has the con­cep­tion and prac­tice of po­etry been trans­formed by po­et­ic com­pos­i­tions, re­cor­ded and cre­ated by cinematographic/videographic/digital tech­niques, and pub­lished on the In­ter­net?

Can we speak of a demo­crat­isa­tion or a re­newed pop­ular­isa­tion of po­etry seen its open use on so­cial net­works?

We are ex­pect­ing pro­pos­als on po­et­ic forms nour­ished by au­di­ovisu­al and di­git­al me­dia and which could have an ef­fect­ive im­pact on a lar­ger pub­lic, which would be rich by its use of in­ter­me­di­al tech­niques, that the book form couldn’t reach.

The con­fer­ence will be held in Eng­lish and French, but par­ti­cipants are wel­come to present po­etries of dif­fer­ent lan­guages. Gen­er­al quer­ies and ab­stracts of no more than 300 words and a bio-bib­li­o­graphy of at max­im­um 5 lines, in Eng­lish or in French should be sent to the fol­low­ing e-mail ad­dress:

Dead­line for ap­plic­a­tions: 21st April 2019.


Fac­ulty of Hu­man­it­ies, Eötvös Loránd Uni­ver­sity (ELTE), Bud­apest, Hun­gary

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