Dr Cornelia Grabner

Lecturer in Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature

Additional Information

Through my research I seek to contribute to the capabilities and possibilities of the poetic word in its spoken and written forms, and where it works in the spirit of global and local justice, decolonizing liberation, and high-intensity democracy. I strive to identify, and play my part in the removal of, some of the many obstacles that stand in the way of the political and social transformations pursued by those who practice and articulate the poetic words and practices I work on. Practitioners of performance poetry have been confronted with the cultural obstacle of disdain and contempt; those who practice committed writing by the refusal to truly listen to what goes against and beyond hegemonic practices and ideas. My current obstacle of choice are imaginaries of acquiescence in contemporary low-intensity democracies, of which authoritarian and proto-fascists hijackings of democratic discourse are a component.

Specific lines of research include the role of the poetic word in the resistance to infrastructure mega-projects; cultural imaginaries developed through threat creation; the poetic word as testimony to social warfare and organized violence; and as an articulation of plenitude in the face of produced scarcity.


Individual: Cultural Imaginaries of Acquiescence in Contemporary Low-Intensity Democracies, Fellowship funded by The Leverhulme Trust

Collaborative: "Contemporary Poetry and Politics: Research on Contemporary Relations between Cultural Production and Sociopolitical Context (POEPOLIT)" is a research project funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitively of the Spanish Government (FFI2016-77584-P, 2016-2019).

See https://poepolit.blogspot.nl/p/poepolit.html

Specific areas of research:

Acquiescent Imaginaries in Low-Intensity Democracies: Acquiescence is often a result of a lack of critical cultural self-awareness, and of a status quo that gradually closes down internal and external horizons. The analysis of acquiescent imaginaries entails a profound critique of Western culture, close attention to those practices and expression that call out acquiescence, and an analysis of those practices that create and perpetuate acquiescent imaginaries.

Listening Spaces for Committed Writing: In my thinking and my practice cultural and literary analysis are put to work to open up spaces for listening, and responding appropriately, to - often highly charged - contemporary and emergent committed writing and the committed poetic word.

Performance and Spoken Word Poetry: Over the years and since my doctoral research I've developed a significant body of knowledge on politicized and socially engaged performance poetry from both sides of the Atlantic. As part of this I have been a member of the core teams of the research projects 'Non-Lyric Discourse in Contemporary Poetry', 'Poetry in Public Spaces', and 'Poetry and Politics.'

Selected Publications Show all 35 publications

Absences and Opacities: Reading ‘Hidden’ Stories of Seafaring in B. Traven’s Ship of the Dead and Francisco Goldman’s The Ordinary Seaman
Grabner, C. 9/01/2018 In: Atlantic Studies. 15, 1, p. 83-102. 20 p.
Journal article

Poetry and performance: the Mersey poets, the international poetry incarnation and performance poetry
Gräbner, C. 31/12/2015 In: The Cambridge companion to British poetry since 1945. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Public spaces and global listening spaces: poetic resonances from the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity in Mexico
Gräbner, C. 08/2015 In: Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies. 11, 3, 26 p.
Journal article

“But how to speak of such things?”: decolonial love, the coloniality of gender, and political struggle in Francisco Goldman's The Long Night of White Chickens (1992) and Jennifer Harbury's Bridge of Courage (1994) and Searching for Everardo (1997)
Gräbner, C. 2014 In: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies. 20, 1, p. 51-74. 24 p.
Journal article