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Poetry and Politics

Project: Non-funded ProjectProjects

1/01/1731/12/19

"Contemporary Poetry and Politics: Research on Contemporary Relations between Cultural Production and Sociopolitical Context (POEPOLIT)" is funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitively of the Spanish Government (FFI2016-77584-P, 2016-2019).

The POEPOLIT project aims to systematically examine the political character of a variety of contemporary poetic expressions from the Western World. Based on textual analyses as well as analyses of intermedial phenomena, the key research questions will be, among others: Is an aesthetically complex poetry less likely to have a political impact than a more popular poetry? Should poets and their works be more clearly recognized as political agents of a specific vision or epistemology? Which is their influence on society today, and provided that they do have an influence, does society recognize it? Which could the implicit results and risks of a poetry that is described as apolitical or ‘separate’ from society? How can the current horizons of 'politics' be expanded through new poetic and analytical languages?

The main theoretical objective is to probe the effectiveness and applicability of the notion of the political in the context of an analysis of contemporary poetry based on the variety of contemporary theoretical proposals and perspectives that directly equate poetry with politics or gradually approximate both from diverse perspectives and methods. A second theoretical objective consists in integrating the perspectives of contemporary non-lyrical poetry, its relation with the public space and its sociopolitical context.

Following this line of enquiry, we will analyze contemporary poetic phenomena from different and diverse cultural environments: mostly hidpanoameric, lusophone and anglophone, but also from Spanish, Francophone, Galician, German-speaking and Basque contexts. Drawing on methodologies adapted from socio-criticism, postmodernism and postcolonialism, among others, we will lend special attention to practices of mediation and their political implications; to spoken word practices of political intervention, especially as they form part of the repertoires of protest of contemporary social movement; to the relationship between poetry and politics as they related to the figure of the author; to the relationship between poetry and politics in the neoliberal city.

Apart from the individual case studies, carried out from multi-disciplinary and comparative perspectives which refer to production as well as mediation and transference and to the reception of poetic practices with a political dimension, we will document and classify in a virtual database poetic practices in circulation, as well as methodological and theoretical-critical studies. This database is designed to become a point of reference and a unique tool for the study and analysis of the relationship between contemporary poetry and politics in the Western context.