Poetry of the Ocean: Course Description and Reading List

Posted April 11, 2023:

I am pleased to be teaching the course Poetry of the Ocean: Liquefying the Humanities at the University of Konstanz this summer (2023). This course is available for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students, and promises to be really fun. Drawing connections between modern and contemporary poetry and the environmental humanities, this is an advanced look into how the materiality of language and the materiality of the ocean can overlap and offer surprising insights.  I have included the course description and reading list below for any who may be interested.

Course Description
People have always been drawn to the ocean. Covering 71% of the planet and containing 99% of the Earth’s habitable space it is easy to understand why—the ocean is vast and everchanging, inhabited by strange creatures that move through its depths. In this course we will consider how this fluid environment and the creatures that live there have inspired modern and contemporary poets, and in turn how these poets’ texts have offered new models for understanding human experience. Beginning with the Romantics and French Symbolists, we will see how ocean-inspired poetry has been at the forefront of 20th and 21st C. poetry movements, including Modernists, Language poets, poets of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, digital poets, and recent ecopoets, discovering along the way how the ocean has inspired new modes of thinking that emphasize linguistic, interpersonal, and ecological interconnections over division.


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