Dr Cornelia Grabner

Lecturer

Additional Information

I explore and analyze contemporary culture and the poetic word through several angles: contemporary committed writing from Europe and the Americas, whereby 'committed' refers to the commitment to the resistance to patriarchy, racism, imperialism, colonialism and capitalism, and to building of anti-patriarcal, anti-imperialist and decolonial alternatives to capitalism; spoken and written expressions of the poetic imagination in the spirit of high-intensity democracy and emergent non-capitalist, anti-patriarchal and decolonial alternatives to the status quo; alternative ways of conversationally articulating knowledge, analysis and critical thinking; and a critique of some of the cultural imaginaries that are obstacles to transformation in the spirit indicated above.

Acquiescent Imaginaries

One constitutive feature of contemporary ‘low-intensity democracies’ (Boaventura de Sousa Santos) are acquiescent imaginaries. Through close cultural analyses of three elements of acquiescent imaginaries – codes of silence, the normalization of violent transgressions, and the discreditation of uprisings and alternatives against the status quo – it exposes how acquiescence is turned into a cultural feature of many contemporary societies, thus contributing to de-politicization and social de-sensitization. The analyses draw on a variety of material from the cultural sphere, including literary works, investigative and literary journalism, public events and actions, and documentary material.

This line of research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust in the form of a Research Fellowship.

Committed Writing, Spoken Word Poetry, and the Poetic Word

‘The poetic word’ as a category serves as an alternative to ‘literature’, to account for the world-making force of the verbal imagination beyond and outside of traditional and emergent cultural hierarchies. It may be articulated by one speaker or by a collective voice, written or spoken. It can be part of performance or spoken word poetry, of prose genres like the novel or the essay, and it is usually non-lyrical and interacts with a context, for example the escalation of neoliberal violence

Poetics of Resistance

The ‘Poetics of Resistance’ developed out of a research network of the same name. They are an anti-hierarchical methodology that builds ‘literacies of resistances’ and critically intervenes against repression and contempt. The Poetics of Resistance require a constant critical consideration of the locus of enunciation of the speaker and the power dynamics that inform their relationship with their interlocutors.

For a special issue on 'Poetics of Resistance', edited together with David Wood, see <http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/issue/view/10>

For an ongoing blog project see https://wordpress.poeticsofresistance.com

The Poetic Word in the Neoliberal City

Living in Manchester sensitized me to the complex experience of those palimpsesistc cities were the industrial, the post-industrial and the neoliberal co-exist in an everyday experience which often does not function according to a linear sense of temporality. From this emerges a complex urban poeticity that interweaves past and present. The complexity of this experience is often de-recognized by, or falls by the wayside of a rhetoric of linear progress. I seek to expose the intersections between the disdain with which sectors of the urban population and elements of urban culture are regarded by those in (cultural and / or political) power, and the complicity of such disdain with urban (cultural or territorial) dispossession.

See the blog Poetics of Resistance (https://wordpress.poeticsofresistance.com) for a series of papers on this subject matter, co-edited by Ilka Kressner, Anne Shea, and myself.

Selected Publications Show all 27 publications

Beyond innocence: Mexican guerrilla groups, state terrorism, and emergent civil society in three novels by Carlos Montemayor, Élmer Mendoza, and Fritz Glockner
Gräbner, C. 05/2014 In: A Contracorriente. 11, 3, p. 164-194. 31 p.
Journal article

From the intersection of pain and hope: poetic disruptions of the neoliberal etiquette in public letters
Gräbner, C. 11/2012 In: Non-lyric discourses in contemporary poetry. Munich : Peter Lang p. 59-77. 19 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Poetry's total scandal: Poets and postmen in Antonio Skármeta’s El cartero de Neruda
Gräbner, C. 1/02/2012 In: Tropelías: Revista de Teoría de la Literatura y Literatura Comparada. 18, p. 118-138. 21 p.
Journal article

Performing poetry: body, rhythm and place in the poetry performance
Graebner, C., Casas, A. 2011 Amsterdam : Rodopi. 293 p. ISBN: 9789042033290.
Book