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MemberErin J. Kappeler

Poetry and poetics; nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature; modernism; poetry and new mediaMy research grows out of a fascination with the relationship between poetry and history. Although historicist methodologies have become increasingly integral to literary scholarship, studies of poetry have, by and large, remained resistant to the historicizing impulse. I seek to understand how twentieth-century theories of poetry have authorized and encouraged this resistance. I am particularly interested in questions of genre, form, and format. How has the collapse of sub-genres of poetry (such as elegies, odes, ballads, and jeremiads) into the super-genre of poetry contributed to the idea that poetry transcends context and politics? How can we historicize a form that imagines itself to be outside of history? Is it possible to restore a sense of the heterogeneity of poetic genres while still thinking comparatively across cultures and historical periods? These research questions are motivated by the observation that the historical record of poetic production and consumption in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is much more complicated than theories of poetry as an abstract genre can account for. My research seeks to develop a theoretical vocabulary that can do justice to the wide range of poetic styles, practices, and poses that historical and contemporary poets and readers have employed, including the popular and the commercial as well as the self-consciously literary and poetic. My current research project focuses on free verse debates in the American academy and publishing industry from 1880-1920; future projects include a study of poetic communities in the Gilded Age and an investigation of remediated and digital poems in the twenty-first century.

MemberRebecca Haidt

18th-19th C cultures, literatures; comparative studies; gender, sexuality; material culture; cultural history; Spain; Spain-Cuba and Spain-North Africa 18th-19th centuries; convict transport history; labor history and history of women’s work; fashion and costume history; Madrid; Iberian studies; Enlightenment; book history; translation; media studies; popular culture; popular theatre; prose fiction; European literary history; history of ideas.