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Workshop | Rethinking Lyric Communities (Part II, Berlin Session)

Jul 05, 2022 | 02:00 PM

Organised by Irene Fantappiè, Francesco Giusti and Laura Scuriatti. In cooperation with ICI Berlin, Bard College Berlin and EXC 2020. With the support of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership.

From the circulation of poetic forms across different languages and traditions around the globe, through the envisioning of national and transnational discursive communities, to the use of poetry in contemporary episodes of political resistance and its dissemination on social media, lyric poetry seems to be a privileged site for an inquiry into community formation and its politics. Various theoretical approaches, in fact, cast poetry in this peculiar role, from French and French-oriented political philosophy, exemplified in the famous exchange between Maurice Blanchot and Jean-Luc Nancy begun in the 1980s, to the reevaluations of poetry’s roots in orality and performance in reader-response criticism, as well as in postcolonial and decolonial studies. This workshop aims to bring the investigation of historical poetic communities into dialogue with recent developments in the theory of the lyric and theories of community. While discussing a variety of poetic phenomena in modern European poetry that have been at the center of the critical debate — the poetics of the fragment, the unworking or désœuvrement of the work, the obscurity or polysemy of language, a change of aesthetic regime —, the workshop will also explore the lyric, in its longer history and transnational features, as a particular discursive mode that may offer alternative models of community formation.

Part I (Oxford Session), 23 June 2022: Christ Church Research Centre

Part II (Berlin Session), 5 July 2022, ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry

Programme 5 July 2022

Berlin Session
ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry

Workshop 14:00-18:00 local time (hybrid)

14:00-14:05 | Welcome by Christoph F. E. Holzhey / Manuele Gragnolati

14:05-14:10 | Introduction by Irene Fantappiè, Francesco Giusti and Laura Scuriatti


14:10-14:25 | Jonathan Culler (Cornell): Lyric Address and the Problem of Community

14:25-14:40 | Daniel Tiffany (University of Southern California): Logophobe

14:40-14:55 | Francesco Giusti (Oxford): Gestural Communities: Lyric and the Suspension of Action

14:55-15:25 | Q&A


15:25-15:40 | Laura Scuriatti (Bard College Berlin): Mina Loy's Elusive Communities

15:40-15:55 | Roberto Binetti (Oxford): Ecology of the Self and Lyric Communities in Italy's 'gruppi di autocoscienza'

15:55-16:10 | Adele Bardazzi (Trinity College Dublin): Lyric and Weaving Communities

16:10-16:40 | Q&A

16:40-17:00 | Coffee break

17:00-18:00 | Discussion, coordinated by Manuele Gragnolati (Sorbonne Université/ICI Berlin)

Poetry Event 19:00-20:30 (in person)

Poetry, Community, Translation

With Vahni Anthony Capildeo, Christian Hawkey, and Daniel Tiffany

Moderated by Irene Fantappiè

Poetry can unite and estrange us. In this event, poets and translators Vahni Anthony Capildeo, Christian Hawkey and Daniel Tiffany, will read a selection of their poetry and offer their reflections on the proximity and alienation of other people’s voices or even one’s own; on the sense of never quite being at home in language; and on the potential of poetry to open up not only habitable and shareable spaces but also haunted and unbridgeable distances.


Vahni (Anthony Ezekiel) Capildeo FRSL is Writer in Residence and Professor at the University of York, an Honorary Student of Christ Church, Oxford, and Charles Causley Trust Poet in Residence (2022). A Trinidadian Scottish writer of poetry and non-fiction, Capildeo’s interests include traditional masquerade, silence, plurilingualism, and the poetics of place. The most recent of their eight books and nine pamphlets are Like a Tree, Walking (Carcanet, 2021), which was a Poetry Book Society choice, and Gentle Housework of the Sacrifice (Guillemot, forthcoming). Capildeo is a contributing editor at PN Review and a contributing adviser for Blackbox Manifold. Current research (also facilitated by Pembroke College, Cambridge, 2021) centres on silence.

Christian Hawkey has written several full-length poetry collections: The Book of Funnels, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Citizen Of (Wave Books)and most recently in 2021: Sift (Action Books). He’s published numerous chapbooks, as well as the widely reviewed and celebrated cross-genre book Ventrakl (Ugly Duckling Presse). A collaborative bi-lingual erasure made with the German poet Uljana Wolf, Sonne from Ort, appeared in 2013 (kookbooks verlag, Berlin). A selection of Ilse Aichinger’s short prose, Bad Words, translated with Uljana Wolf, appeared in 2019 (Seagull Books). His own work has been translated into over a dozen languages. He is currently at work on a co-translation (with Marouane Zakhir) of two books by the Moroccan philosopher Abdessalam Benabdelali.

Daniel Tiffany is the author of six collections of poetry, published variously by Wesleyan, Omnidawn, Noemi, and Action Books. In addition, five volumes of his literary criticism, including Toy Medium (2000) and Infidel Poetics (2009), have appeared over the last two decades, from presses such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Chicago. His translations from French, Greek, and Italian have appeared in various journals, and he is a recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, as well as the author of the entry on ‘Lyric Poetry’ in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory.