Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Directions Proposal: Oppositional Appropriation: Toward an Ethics of Appositional Writing

Ryan Clark will present "Toward an Ethics of Appositional Writing."

Drawing heavily from the work of various feminist moral philosophers, I make an argument for what I call appositional writing, which uses appropriative methods (cut-up, erasure, collage, homophonic translation) to craft ethically reparative poetry, and which places emphasis on considerateness and an awareness of power relations within each specific act of appropriation. As I illustrate the central tenets of appositional writing, I will explain three risks that may lead such a project to become ethically problematic, or even outright damaging to the overall climate of trust; I refer to these risks as the Risk of Arrogance in Appropriation (or the Risk of Exceeding Permissions), the Risk of Asymmetrical Power Relations, and the Risk of Exceeding Reasonable Responsibility. Appositional writing runs the risk of damaging the climate of trust by assuming more than what one might reasonably expect to claim as one’s own. Asymmetrical power relations along sociopolitical lines between author and source material may magnify this issue. The case of Raymond McDaniel’s Saltwater Empire will serve as an example of an ethically problematic work of appropriative writing that fails to adequately consider these risks. McDaniel’s book is but part of a larger and compelling trend toward documentarian investigation in contemporary poetry, and as more and more writers turn toward appropriation and documentary as a means toward political opposition and advocacy for disempowered populations, it becomes important to consider the ethical impact of these practices--both positive and negative.

Ryan Clark wants to make a pun. He thinks about puns while working on his dissertation, while teaching and studying at Illinois State University, while eating cereal (Cheery Hose?). In his poetry he is largely concerned with homophonic translation, the reparative potential of appropriative writing, and how poetry responds to violence and subjugation, symbolic and otherwise. Ryan is a 4th year doctoral student in English Studies specializing in creative writing, although, understandably, part of him wishes he'd just settle down and be a linguist. His poetry has appeared in Fact-Simile, Monkey Puzzle, and Seven Corners, and is forthcoming from Tenderloin.

New Directions Proposal: Literary and Film Examples of Mimicry and Hybridity

Curt Hagegeorge will present "Literary and Film Examples of Mimicry and Hybridity."

Three primary literary texts including The Mimic Men (1967) by Vidiadhar Surajprasad “V. S.” Naipaul (1932-Present), The Satanic Verses (1988) by Salman Rushdie (1947-Present), and My Son the Fanatic (1994) by Hanif Kureishi (1954-Present), are considered to be premier literary works that relate to aspects of cultural mimicry within hybrid spaces. Mimicry occurs within the hybrid spaces due to an immigration pattern where the people who are arriving in Britain from the post-colonial periphery nations are typically arriving to begin their lives at the bottom of the social strata. In effect, these hybridized spaces become places of cultural conflict and thus resistance to the secular ways of the West. This dichotomous essentialist approach to what is portrayed as being polar opposites, between cultural worlds of East and West, a continuum exists, and within this continuum is where hybridity emerges and resistance resides. In each work, the characters are struggling to find an acceptable form of resistance within the hybrid spaces of the post-modern world.  Perhaps it is this globalized diversity that has ushered in such profound social changes is what the fundamentalists are striking against the most within these works. Basically, the quest for cultural purity is a problematic proposition within a world of increasing hybridity. Each story portrays characters who find their own way towards an acceptable form of resistance within the hybrid spaces of the post-modern world as a form of hybrid resistance. "   
Curt Hagegeorge: English Studies, TESOL

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Directions Proposal: "Beaming the Dream" Holocaust Memory as Gendered Intergenerational Trauma in a Digital Age

Susan M. George will present "'Beaming the Dream' Holocaust Memory as Gendered Intergenerational Trauma in a Digital Age."

This paper explores the relevance of gendered Holocaust trauma as a cross-generational phenomenon in literature. Utilizing Nava Semel's 2009 hybrid novel "And the Rat Laughed," I explore how her revolutionary work transcends conventional, linear narrativity and the "Holocaust script" in order to transfer an authentic telling of trauma for contemporary audiences. I address the importance of trauma temporality as digital hybridity frameworked by Semel's use of prose, poetry, song, screenplay, blog post, email and even the material body in an attempt to transfer meaning. Semel's work forms a springboard to disproving the  supposed "impossibility" of speaking intergenerational Holocaust trauma. Through this non-linear, hybridized telling, memory repeatedly "reclaims" the body as it is transferred across genres of writing. Through my analysis, I re-evaluate the role of the digital-material body at intersections of silenced and speaking traumatic memory in this
unusual work.  
Susan M. George: I am an MA student in English Studies at ISU focusing on the unexpected uniqueness of women's Modernist literature and culture. I research especially gendered perceptions of the narrated body in time and space and the place of memory, love & trauma in women's literature.