ENG 542 – 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE
PROF. MYUNG MI KIM
Tuesday 3:30-6:10, Clemens 436
Registration Numbers: (A) 265098 (B) 034759
"A MERRY CAN ISM"
"A MER IN CAN ISM"
"A MARR CAN ISM"
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
"The Word (Le Mot)"
9 color slides, 5 color photographs
This course will examine a fundamental but often under theorized condition of 20th century and contemporary American poetry, namely, its translingual, interlingual, and transcultural predicament. How does this condition of mutability and linguistic heterogeneity inflect and exceed current discourses on diaspora and hybridity? We will discuss the rupture and displacement of monolingualism in what counts as “American Poetry.” In our reflection of the stakes of transcultural and translingual poetics, we will interrogate the way the politics of translation inhabits legibility, standardization, and linguistic practices of the nation. At the same time we will ask whether it is possible to redefine translatability from the perspective of what I call the “translative” and the “transl(i)tive” dimension of poetic practice. Transl(i)tive practice traverses and disarticulates the binaries of major/minor, dominant/peripheral, global/local; we will explore how this transitive and chiasmatic space operates both within and between poetry and thinking, and how it might extend the established parameters of scholarship about American poetry.
Our readings include: Gertrude Stein, selected essays and The Geographical History of America;
Louis Zukofsky, Catullus and 80 Flowers; Robert Duncan's late work; Spicer's After Lorca and Language; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's multimedia, installation, and film work; Nathaniel Mackey, Susan Howe, Cecilia Vicuna, Harryette Mullen, Tan Lin, Norma Cole, and others.
Companion texts/possible extensions: Fred Moten, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition; Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism; Kamau Brathwaite, The History of the Voice; Alfred Arteaga, Chicano Poetics: Heterotexts and Hybridities; Jacques Derrida, Monolingualism of the Other or the Prosthesis of Origin.