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Home > Research > Researchers > Cornelia Gräbner
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Cornelia Gräbner supervises 2 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Cornelia Gräbner


Cornelia Gräbner

Bowland North

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YN

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 593006

Location: B57, Bowland North

Research overview

Cornelia researches on poetry and the public, and on poetry and activist politics. She focuses on the Poetics of Resistance and contemporary committed writing. Her research is comparative on Western Europe and the Americas. She is currently working on a monograph on committed writing and alternative globalisation.

Further lines of research include poetic interventions into urban space; the intersections of culture and politics in mega-cities in the Americas; and politically committed performance poetry collectives. She holds a specialist interest in Mexican committed writing from the 1970s to the present, and in creative articulations of contemporary Mexican social movements.

PhD supervision

performance poetry; literature, social movements and the public sphere; comparative literary studies; contemporary Latin American literature Proposals may take a comparative approach or may focus on the literature of particular countries.

Research Interests

My work focuses on the relationship between poetry and autonomous and activist politics, and on committed writing and the poetics of resistance, in Europe and the Americas (North, Central, South).

While I mainly work comparatively, Latin America is a specialist area of interest of mine. In a shared effort, Amit Thakkar and myself have developed a Latin America platform at Lancaster with colleagues from the Latin America Research Cluster, and in collaboration with other Latin Americanists in the North-West. Research on Latin America within DELC focuses on violence, especially on the intersections of gender and power; non-violent alternatives to capitalism, the literatures of armed resistance, and decoloniality; and literacies of resistances.

Creativity , Resistance, and Alternative Globalisation

My research in this area responds to two elements of resistance: defense and recuperation, and the building of alternatives. As for the former, my work focuses on the relationship between poetic subjectivities and the survival of situations of coercion. With regards to the latter, I'm involved in the Poetics of Resistance (see next section). 

My research into poetic subjectivities in situations of coercion has led to the book chapter '"Don't Misunderstand Me": Apostrophe and Direct Address in Poems of Survival', and I am currently working on an article on literary engagement with the Mexican guerrilla and the dirty war of the 1970s.

Poetics of Resistance

The 'Poetics of Resistance' developed out of a research network of the same name. The Poetics of Resistance are an anti-hierarchical methodology that builds 'literacies of resistances' and 'resistant literacies.' The former refers to the ability to identify literary expressions of resistance when they are hidden, to respond to them, and to foster them through response. 'Resistant literacies' turn these manifestations and the responses to them into tools for activist organisation.

The poetics of resistance are the methodology that builds on those literacies. It practices the 'poetics of absences' and the 'poetics of emergences' ( adapted from Boaventura de Sousa Santos' sociologies of absences and emergences), thus bringing together defense and recuperation, with the building of alternatives.

For a special issue on 'Poetics of Resistance', edited together with David Wood, see <http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/issue/view/10>

Poetic Interventions in Urban Space

Cities and urban spaces are intersections of urban politics, cultural production and of social and political tensions. Urban cultural producers respond to the imaginaries of a city that are developed through urban politics, but they also develop their own, often alternative, urban imaginaries. I am interested in the interaction between city government and civil society as it is manifested particularly in cultural production and urban cultural politics.

So far, my research into this area has produced the book chapter 'Los ritmos de la megalópolis: La poesía en voz alta en la Ciudad de México y en Spanish Harlem, Nueva York'. Currently I'm working on an article on representations of the Oaxaca Uprising from 2007, and on an article on New Orleans after Katrina.

Please see the open CFP (deadline 1st November 2013) for a panel at the ACLA conference 2014, on 'Poetry and the Poetic Word: Urban Resistances to Neoliberalism since 1970'.

Performance Poetry

My long-standing research interest in performance poetry evolved from my doctoral dissertation, on politically committed performance poetry. Since 2007, I have researched especially the significance of rhythms in performed poetry, as a means of representing and engaging with text-internal and text-external rhythms; and I have developed the concept of 'poetic licence' as an analytical tool to explore the relationship of individual performance poets to the poetic tradition and to the wider context of their work.

The members of the research group 'Non-Lyric Discourses in Contemporary Poetry' have provided me with a stimulating research context on performance poetry.

Publications from this line of research are Performing Poetry: Rhythm, Place and Body in the Poetry Performance (with Arturo Casas), the book chapters '"The Hurricane doesn't Roar in Petameters": Rhtyhmanalysis in Performed Poetry', 'Poetic Licence and Direct Address: Political Performance Poetry in Britain', and 'Reconsidering Poetic Licence in 1970s and 1980s Northern Europe: Poetry Performances by Linton Kwesi Johnson and Urs M. Fiechtner & Sergio Vesely'.


Additional Information

Secured Funding

2011: British Academy Overseas Conference Grant for the Congress of the International Association for the Study of the Americas, Rio de Janeiro, July 2011 (£800)

Presentation of paper entitled 'Dissident Encounters: Latin America and Europe in the works of Ramón and Manu Chao'

2011: Society of Latin American Studies

Events grant for an event on 'Media, Community and Social Movements'.

2009-2010: Rearch and Enterprise Fund, FASS, Lancaster UniversitySmall grant from the Research and EnterpriseFundfor research on 'Changing Perceptions of the City of Oaxaca in 2006'

December 2009: IAS Incubation Fund, Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster UniversityLead applicant for a grant from the IAS Incubation Fund for the Latin America Research Cluster, for a series of events on "Modernization, Globalisation and Alterglobalisation in Latin America"

July 2009: British Academy Conference Fund (£800)

Travel grant for participation in the International Congress of Americanists, July2009,Mexico City, Mexico

April 2007: Partial travel grant of the American Comparative Literature Association

Participation in the ACLA conference 2008, Puebla, Mexico.

1 January 2006 - 31 December 2006: Royal Netherlands Academy ofArts andSciences (KNAW)

Full-time scholarship for completion of dissertation.

1 September 2005 - 30 November 2005: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)

Funded research trip to the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).

Most recent presentations

CRESC Annueal Conference 'Framing the City', Manchester, 9th September 2011

From Tourist City to Rebel City: Oaxaca during the 2006 Uprising

CPDOC, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, 3rd August 2011

El otro mundo que si es posible: Imaginarios Neozapatistas en el trabajo cultural

Congress of the International Association of the Study of the Americas, Rio de Janeiro, 27 - 29 July 2011

Dissident Encounters: Latin America and Europe in the works of Ramón and Manu Chao

University of Vigo, Project 'Poetic Discourse Beyond the Lyric', I International Conference on Non-Lyric Discourse in Contemporary Poetry, Vigo, 26th April 2011

Plenary Lecture: "History and Poetry: Re-telling History Poetically and 'from below'in Alterglobalisation Literature"

Department of Literary Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, 2nd March 2011

Who Grants Poetic Licence? Performance Poetry between Social Citique, Political Activism, and the Market

Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, 12th January 2011

La poesía en voz alta en los años 70 y 80: Tendencias y manifestaciones

Seminar Series of the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster, 16th June 2010

Imaginaries of Alterglobalisation: The Mega-City as Theme and Organizing Principle in Narratives of Alterglobalisation

Annual Congress of the American Comparative Literature Association, New Orleans, 1st - 4th April 2010

Resistance, Political Violence and Intercultural Encounters in The Long Night of White Chickens by Francisco Goldman

International Congress of Americanists, Mexico City, 19th - 24th July 2009

"Sonyar otro mundo": Intertextualidad en la escritura de Eduardo Galeano y el Subcomandante Marcos

Urban Spaces and Inequality (workshop), Lancaster University, 5th June 2009

Literary Representations of Mobility and Inequality in Urban Spaces

On Sound (workshop), Royal Holloway, London, 25th April 2009

Rhythmanalysis in Urban Performance Poetry

Poetics of Resistance: Practices, Repertoires, Strategies, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15th and 17th April 2009

"Sonar otro mundo": Sigue existiendo un discurso global de la resistencia?

La ciudad latinoamericana, Leiden University, 6th April 2009

Los ritmos de la megalopolis: La ciudad de Mexico a travesde sonidos y ritmos en la poesia contemporanea

From Human Rights to the Primacy of the Political (conference), Lancaster University, 7th-8th November 2008

Subjectivity Construction and the Deprivation of Rights in two Novels on the Mexican dirty war

The Latin American and Caribbean City (symposium), University of Liverpool, 17th-18th October 2008

Analysing Rhythms: Sounds and Rhythms in Performed Poetry from Mexico City and Spanish Harlem (invited presentation)

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