Deadline for submissions: March 3, 2017
Full name / name of organization: Rothemere American Institute, University of Oxford
Contact email:
Special Relationships: Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000

Deadline Extended: Deadline for Submissions March 3

We are delighted to announce the Call for Papers for Special Relationships: Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000, a one-day symposium exploring the interstices of poetics in the circum-Atlantic region since 2000, to be held at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford on May 19, 2017.

The symposium aims to consider some of the ways in which poets’ ideas of relatedness in the region complicate the idea of straight lines of influence. In Claudia Rankine’s 2015 Citizen, for example, Rankine recounts an incident at the home of a British novelist shortly after the 2011 London Riots, sparked by the death of Mark Duggan at the hands of the Metropolitan Police. When asked if she will write about Duggan’s death, Rankine responds ‘why don’t you?’. Yet Rankine does write about Duggan: she includes him in her litany of black people killed at the hands of the state. For Rankine, then, the African diaspora becomes one social formation in tension with the national, a common experience of racism creates a community that does not map on to national borders. Even so, Rankine’s long poem’s subtitle is ‘an American Lyric’.

By exploring the way that poetry’s various concepts of relationships simultaneously transgress borders, operate within them, and even reveal hidden borders across societies, the symposium aims to produce new insights into the multifariousness of poetic production since the year 2000. How have poets from the U.S.A., the U.K., Ireland, the Caribbean, and West Africa conceived of their relationships in a time of ever-greater connection, and how has this changed how they think about differences too?

We invite interested parties, whether scholars or poets, to submit abstracts (200-300 words) for 20-minute papers. We will also accept proposals for panels of three papers (up to 700 words). We are equally interested in receiving proposals for 20-minute pieces that depart from the norms of the conference paper form, either in the form of creative responses to the symposium theme, or creative/critical hybrid pieces.

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

Communications, the Internet, and other information networks, and their impact on poetic coteries and movements.
Migration and the relationship between poetry and national borders.
The Special relationship, America and Britain’s commitment to the War on Terror.
Race, class, gender and sexuality: how poets have differed on these questions, and how poets are building transnational communities of liberation.
The relationship between poetry, capital, and labour, especially since the 2008 financial crisis.
The relationship between poetry and institutions, such as academia.

Confirmed speakers include Sarah Howe (winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize), Oli Hazzard, and Sandeep Parmar.

Please send abstracts and a short biography to the organizers, Kristin Grogan and Hugh Foley, at by Friday, March 3.

We invite you to share this CFP widely.