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Nathalie Dupont, assistant professor of French; Collin McKinney, assistant professor of Spanish; and G. C. Waldrep, assistant professor of English, are exploring various aspects of language and what they say about culture.
Dupont has been focusing on the preoccupation with obstacles, deviance, and failures inherent in language in the works of contemporary French poets, such as Dominique Fourcade, Jean-Marie Gleize, and Christian Prigent.
“These experimental poets consistently put the creative process to the test, putting forth a disillusioned poetry, which criticizes the poetic stance and lyrical norms, all the while questioning and transforming humanistic and romantic perspectives on language, the subject, and reality,” she says. French poetry
Dupont seeks to understand why this negative attitude in French poetry has emerged in the 20th century, why contemporary French poetry (from 1968 on) has operated as a privileged site for current controversies regarding crises in language, what motivates these particular literary works, and what they reveal about today’s society.
McKinney’s research, on the other hand, deals with the literature and culture of Spain in the second half of the 19th century.
Using cultural studies as a theoretical framework, he is looking at the way public discourse in Spain has shaped literature and how that literature, in turn, has reflected Spanish society. More specifically, “I am working on a book-length project on masculinity in Spain, asking, What were Spanish men made of in the 19th century? To answer this, I will be traveling to Madrid in December to look at newspapers, conduct manuals, and any other text that might have contributed to a Spanish concept of masculinity.”Challenging traditional forms
Poet G. C. Waldrep has been challenging traditional forms.
Since the 2007 release of his second book, Disclamor, he has been working on a manuscript of more experimental prose poems, rooted in music history and theory. “My formal arts training was in music (vocal music and conducting) rather than in writing or literature.”
In the wake of his first book, Goldbeater’s Skin, he began experimenting with ways to engage this training — this world, in all its mostly nonverbal complexity — more directly. The result was poetry structured after the fashion of a “gamut,” or musical self-instruction primer that often prefaced volumes of 19th-century American sheet music.
The poems take their cues from this antique form, straddling the line between prose and poetry.Meet more new faculty
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Posted Nov. 2, 2007