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Workshop: Thom Van Camp, “Language of the Unreckonable: James Wright and Necropolitics”

April 23, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The week after next, Mid Mod will be hosting an essay workshop for Thom Van Camp’s “Language of the Unreckonable: James Wright and Necropolitics.”
Although we may know Thom as a Romanticist, we very much look forward to engaging with his work on American poetry. We hope Midmodders, Americanists, and colleagues working in other areas will join us for this interesting cross-period conversation.
The workshop will be held Tuesday, April 23rd at 6pm in Helen C. White 7101. For a copy of Thom’s paper, please contact Erica Kanesaka Kalnay (kalnay@wisc.edu). You can find an abstract below.
Language of the Unreckonable: James Wright and Necropolitics
The aim of this paper is to reconsider the American poet James Wright alongside the emergent notion of necropolitics, a rubric elucidated by cultural theorist Achille Mbembe. To use Mbembe’s language, this paper understands Wright’s scenes as “death-worlds” crafted in an effort to attend to the repeated fusion of institutional power into the natural setting. Wright reveals a population of the “living dead,” subjected to and by increasingly violent conditions. Wright’s poems teem with bodies and forms bent by ever-encroaching political and environmental pressures; returning to these scenes raises questions of power and sovereignty, and positions Wright as more than just a darkly romantic poet of the Midwest.


April 23, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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7101 Helen C. White Hall
600 N. Park Street
Madison, WI United States
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