English Seminar: Porous Bodies and Fluid Subjectivity in the Poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Dia – School of Literature, Art and Media English Seminar: Porous Bodies and Fluid Subjectivity in the Poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Dia – School of Literature, Art and Media

English Seminar: Porous Bodies and Fluid Subjectivity in the Poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Dia

‘Porous Bodies and Fluid Subjectivity in the Poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Dia’

Presenter: Julia Cooper Clark

Abstract:

This paper is a distillation of a chapter in my thesis regarding the treatment and construction of bodies in resistance to late-stage capitalism and consumerism in contemporary feminist poetry. The work of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Diaz are both unusual examples of ecopoetics that phenomenologically position the body within the natural environment, imagining a reciprocal relationship between the body and the world. Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, over her 50-year career and 15 poetry collections, has developed a unique poetic voice and style that constructs transparent, porous subjects. From her work in Empathy (1989/2020) to Four Year Old Girl (1998) she builds a phenomenology in her poetry of diffuse, collective affect rather than individualised perspectives. Natalie Diaz in her second collection Postcolonial Love Poem (2020) creates a fluid, flowing subject position both within and from the natural world. Using the watery feminist phenomenology of Astrida Neimanis’s book Bodies of Water, this paper demonstrates how Berssenbrugge and Diaz imagine porous, fluid, continuous subjectivity in resistance to capitalist extractivism that prioritises profit over the natural environment.

Julia Cooper Clark is currently completing her PhD research at the University of Sydney into aesthetics and bodies under consumer culture in contemporary feminist poetry from Australia and the United States. In 2018 her honours thesis “’Please consider me forever’: The Cuteness of Fiona Hile and Kate Lilley” won the Dame Leonie Kramer Prize in Australian Poetry. Her critical work has been published in Plumwood Mountain,Cordite Poetry Review, and Audrey Journal while her scholarly work has been published in Cordite ScholarlyPhilament, and TEXT. She lives and works between Guringai, Darug, and Gadigal land.

 


Venue

This event will be held online via Zoom and Woolley Common Room (John Woolley Building, A20, Camperdown).

Note: The presentations this semester are either ‘Zoom only’ (with no meeting in the Woolley Building) or ‘Woolley Common Room and Zoom’ (which is a live presentation in Woolley that is simultaneously available on Zoom). When we are in Woolley we do encourage you to join us in person if you are well and feel safe to do so. Do bring a mask. If you’d prefer not to be there physically, please attend via Zoom.

Contact: Liam Semler (liam.semler@sydney.edu.au).

 

English Research Seminars in Semester 1

18 May

Zoom only

Claire Hansen (ANU) and Bríd Phillips (ECU), ‘“Wilt break my heart?” Manifestations of Broken Heart Syndrome in Shakespeare and Early Modern England.’
25 May

Zoom only

SPECIAL TIME 6-7.30pm

Tom Sykes (University of Portsmouth, UK), ‘Pearl of the Orientalists: Western Writers and Reporters on Manila from the Spanish Colonial Era to the Contemporary “Drug War.”’

 

Co-hosted by Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and the English Department.

1 June

Woolley Common Room and Zoom

Julia Cooper Clark, ‘Porous Bodies and Fluid Subjectivity in the Poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Diaz.’
15 June

Woolley Common Room and Zoom

Marc Mierowsky, ‘Daniel Defoe on Naturalization’
29 June

Woolley Common Room and Zoom

Freya MacDonald, ‘Species extinction, vanishing limbs, Instagram, and Bushfires: an ecocritical reading of existentialism in the Anthropocene in Richard Flanagan’s The Living Sea of Waking Dreams.’

AND

Kira Legaan, ‘The Body and the Page: The Challenge of Adaptation.’

Date

Jun 01 2022

Time

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

More Info

Join via Zoom

Location

Via Zoom
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