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Title: Writing material remains : history and visual poetics in the work of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Susan Howe and Maggie O'Sullivan
Author: Bloomfield, Amanda
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 7341
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis examines contemporary experimental poetries which foreground visual materiality as an integral part of 'archaeological' investigations of suppressed histories. It engages with theoretical questions surrounding the articulation of marginalised histories and aesthetic debates centred on verbal-visual relations, as well as focusing on the work of three poet-practitioners working between the 1970s and the present: Korean American artist and writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, American poet Susan Howe, and British poet Maggie O'Sullivan. The thesis situates the problem of theorising verbal-visual interactions in relation to a wider split between cognition and sensuousness, meaning and materiality, and by doing so it seeks to contribute to newly emergent vocabularies of visual poetics. Moreover, it investigates the political and ethical implications of aesthetic works that invoke or critique the dividing line between meaning and materiality by bringing to attention the physical, visual dimensions of the written work via formal strategies such as the incorporation of images or the manipulation of page layout and typography, for example. Thus by examining the relationships between particular kinds of visual materiality and the archaeological impulses of a range of poetically-conducted investigations of specific forgotten, suppressed, or traumatic histories it also participates in prominent current debates around aesthetics and historical anamnesis. The thesis argues that in their hybrid forms, the works of Cha, Howe and O'Sullivan materially embody the difficulties and opportunities of recovering the unacknowledged histories they aim to bring to attention. In addition, it evaluates the implicit redemptory claims of poetic projects whose rescue of hitherto unacknowledged dimensions of material meaningfulness propose ways of reading/seeing history 'otherwise'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available