Prof. Laura Arnold CC307, x7329

Vollum 126 Tuesdays 7-10 p.m. FALL 1999


The purpose of this class is to examine the intersection of aesthetics, politics, and poetics in contemporary resistance poetry (1945-present). How do tradition and poetics present writers with a way to resist cultural and physical oppression, and provide them with a means by which the writer and reader can restore themselves and their culture? When is it necessary for poets to contest and disrupt the notion of the poetic, altogether, and how can they do so while continuing to write poetry? To answer these questions (and others) we will explore the intersection between poetry and history by investigating the various political movements that have influenced postmodern American aesthetics.


  • Attend, Prepare for , and Participate in Conference.


  • A weekly 1-2 page close reading. The paper should either (1) include an analysis of a specific aspect of one poem as well as a brief contextualization of the themes &/or poetics in light of the book as a whole OR (2) explicate a cultural symbol or poetic reference from one of the poems for that week using library research; explain briefly how the symbol influences your reading of the poem. (I will provide you with an example of the latter.) Late papers will not be accepted; you may, however, have one week off from writing a one page paper (you choose the week).


  • Once during the semester you will be asked to lead class discussion. For this week a 4-5 page paper will be due two days before class and should be posted to the class webpage via the class email address. Class members should have read the discussion leader's paper BEFORE class. No late papers will be accepted.