CFP: The Shape of Song:
A Conference on Lyric Poetry
7 July 2012
Faculty of English
University of Cambridge
Opening Plenary: John Wilkinson (University of Chicago, USA)
Closing Plenary: Jonathan Culler (Cornell University, USA)
There is little consensus as to what the lyric poem is or does. It has become shorthand for non-long poems, for short poems concerned with voice and feeling, for poems that address a readership, for poems which are musical, for poems based on ballads, hymns, jingles, tunes, song, and hip hop, for poems in which a tacit or explicit ‘I’ speaks to no one in particular. These problems of definition are inseparable from more general issues concerning the verbal work of art: what are its extra-linguistic, illocutionary and perlocutionary features, and how is it made? Furthermore, what is the relationship between lyric and metricality? between lyric and subjectivity? Is lyric a mode of thinking? How does lyric address authority and the discourses which underwrite power? What is the relation between lyric and capital?
The study of lyric remains in a significant position at the disciplinary junction of historical poetics, versification studies, musicology, linguistics, aesthetics, and social theory. We envision this conference to be a multi-disciplinary forum through which scholars from various disciplines—English and Comparative Literature, Classics, Musicology, Linguistics, Philosophy among them—address the theoretical, historical, and social dimensions of lyric. We invite papers that conceptualize ‘lyric’, as well as papers which take a specific text or historical focus. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches which consider lyric’s relationship to music, visual art, drama, dance, and performance.
Papers should be 20 minutes in duration.
Poetry readings will follow the conference proceedings.
Please send paper proposals of no more than 250 words to Ryan Dobran at shapeofsong [at] gmail [dot] com before 15 February 2012.