11.07.2022 - Call for Papers / Participation
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CALL FOR PAPERS: Audioliterary Poetry between Performance and Mediatization | ERC-Forschungsprojekt "Poetry in the Digital Age" | Universität Hamburg | Bewerbungsfrist: 15.09.22

The second international and interdisciplinary conference of the ERC project Poetry in the Digital Age addresses “Audioliterary Poetry between Performance and Mediatization .” The research project is situated between literary, cultural , and interart studies. It is developing tools to analyze today’s multifaceted poetry formats, ranging from pop culture to works of “ high ” art, by scrutinizi ng their forms and sites of presentation and performance, ranging from the stage to social media, from the written page to urban space. Research is divided into three areas, focusing on (1) poetry and perfor- mance, (2) poetry and music, and (3) poetry and visual culture. The first research field , which ad- dress es audioliteral forms in performance and mediatization, will be the focus of this conference. “ Audio - literariness ” ( Audioliteralität ) denotes texts in which written and auditory content is related in s uch a way that its intermedial movement creates meaning ( cf. Jäger 2014) . The current popularity of poetry has to do with new forms of poetry perform ance that are often closely connected to processes of mediatization: l ive f ormats such as s poken w ord and p oetry s lam continue to attract large audiences, recordings of readings and performances are shared on plat- forms such as YouTube and TikTok, and s ound p oetry experimentally explores the potentials of dig- ital technology. M ost recently, the Co vid - 19 pandemic led to mani fold attempts to move poetry read- ings and discussions to streaming and communications platforms. These developments shed new light on discussions about the relation ship between “liveness” and “medi ati zation” ( cf. Auslander 2008; Fischer - Lichte 2019) , exami ni ng the role of the (self - )staging of the “ p oet - performer ” (Novak 2011) ; raise questions about the relationship between different a daptions of poetic works in differ- ent media ( cf. Benthien 2017; Bernstein 1998; Bers 2021; Jäger 2014) ; and , finally , challeng e estab- lished definitions of poetry (Müller and Stahl 2021) . The conference will therefore focus on three interrelated fields: (1) live poetry performances, created through the co - presence of audience and performer; (2) the mediatization of performed poetry, e.g. , recordings of events published or posted online; (3) contemporary s ound p oetry as audio - publications and commissioned works for (radio) ​ broadcasts and/or studio productions. The spectrum of inves tigation ranges from experimental niche productions to highly eventized , popular forms of poetry . (1) While the traditional poetry reading has received some critical attention recently (Ammon 2018; Meyer - Kalkus 2020; Utler 2016) , there is also growing literature being written about new formats such as s poken w ord and p oetry s la m (Benthien and Prange 2020; English and McGowan 2021; No- vak 2011) . These live formats take on a wide range of functions in a mediatized society. For this rea- son, the conference is interested in international and intersectional perspectives on these new for- mats that can illustrate the similarities and difference s between them (related to aspects such as community building, identity politics and authenticity ; cf. , e.g., Ailes 2021 ) . At the same time, the fo cus will be on inter - and transmedia performances ( cf. Pfeiler 2010) . (2) Poetry crosses media boundaries more easily than other literary forms ( cf. Chasar 2020) . Poetry performances are often recorded and shared on media platforms ( cf. Döring and Passmann 2017) . P oets themselves use platforms such as Instagram to present their works audiovisually , and users also upload poetry performances to platform s like TikTok. Technological factors such as interface design and the platforms’ editing functions influence the production and the reception of these per- formances. T he conference will therefore ask which genres, which topics, and which aesthetic de- vices characterize the poetry performances and recordings circulating on soci al media . (3) The exploration of new forms of publication also play s an important role for s ound p oetry, which relies on publishing formats outside the book. D igitalization is facilitating access to voice recording and editing software, which is simultaneously influencing the corporeality of voice and speech in r ecordings ( cf. Lentz 2000; Neves 2019; Vorrath 2020) and leading to the emergence of new formats like digital - born audio poetry. The conference wants to investigate w hich new poetic devices and artistic methods are being developed by poets utilizing new digital technologies , e.g. , editing, cut - up s , sampling, mixing, and multi - channel compos i tion ( cf. Matter 2016) . Among other questions , we want to ask how sound p oetry reflects today ’ s medial environment. We welcome interdisciplinary contributions in German and English that investigate the following topics/research fields , which are by no means exhaustive or exclusive: ▪ How do the liveness and mediatization of poetry and spoken word performances rely on each other ? How can concepts like performativity and materiality be adapted to mediatized and digital environment s ? How do poets themselves explore (and subvert) the distinction betw een live and digital formats ? ▪ What new online formats of poetry reading and other forms of presentation have emerged (for example, during the Covid - 19 pandemic)? Are these temporary phenomena or perma- nent transformations of poetry culture? ▪ How are platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok contribut ing to the populariza- tion of performed poetry? What influence do the platforms’ policies and algorithms have? What are the functions of participatory practices like sharing, liking, and commenting? ▪ How is the ubiquity of digital technologies transforming fields like experimental audio and sound poetry ? To what extent is digital technology utilized in the production and composi- tion of oral and sound poetry works? ▪ What new forms of publishing and archi ving are emerging in these fields ? Where can we locate digitalization on the spectrum between ephemerality and reproducibility? ​