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Dr Cornelia Grabner


Cornelia Grabner

Lancaster University

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 593006

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

The two guiding lines to my research are the comparative, interdisciplinary analysis of contemporary committed writing, usually linked to autonomous grassroots movements and/or imaginaries; and the analytical and critical engagement with oral and written expressions of the poetic imagination that build democratic alternatives to the existing and emerging cultural, social and political status quo. The geographical scope of my research encompasses Europe and the Americas (North, South, Central). All analytical engagements with writing and the poetic imagination are necessarily linked to theoretical and methodological self-reflexiveness regarding the underpinnings of theory and its locations.

Committed Writing, Spoken Word Poetry, and the Poetic Word

‘The poetic word’ as a category functions as an altnernative to ‘literature’, in order to account for the world-making (not necessarily aesthetic) force of the verbal imagination beyond and outside of traditional and emergent cultural hierarchies. My research explores it in its many forms, for example articulated by one speaker or by a collective voice, written or spoken. Expressions of this are my long-standing interest in performance (or spoken word) poetry, my participation in the project ‘Non-Lyric Discourse in Contemporary Poetry and my publications on the representation of Mexican armed movements in contemporary novels, and my recent publications on the poetic word as a form of resistance against the escalation of neoliberal violence.

The Poetic Word in the Neoliberal City

Living in Manchester sensitized me to the complex experience of those palimpsesistc cities were the industrial, the post-industrial and the neoliberal co-exist in an everyday experience which often does not function according to a linear sense of temporality. From this emerges a complex urban poeticity that interweaves past and present. The complexity of this experience is often de-recognized by, or falls by the wayside of a rhetoric of linear progress. In my research – most recently, on the Mersey poets – I seek to expose the intersections between the disdain with which sectors of the urban population and elements of urban culture are regarded by those in (cultural and / or political) power, and the complicity of such disdain with urban (cultural or territorial) dispossession.

Theory and Methodology: Poetics of Resistance

The ‘Poetics of Resistance’ developed out of a research network of the same name. They are an anti-hierarchical methodology that builds ‘literacies of resistances’ and critically intervenes against disdain. The Poetics of Resistance require a constant critical consideration of the locus of enunciation of the speaker and the power dynamics that inform their relationship with their interlocutors.

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

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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