“A Detroit Hum Ending with Bones”: Poetry and Radical Urban Transformation

Aus Iaawiki

Winter Semester 2020/21

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Course Information
Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154667 “A Detroit Hum Ending with Bones”: Poetry and Radical Urban Transformation 2 HS Mi 10:15 – 11:45 digital Sattler
Course Description

In recent years, post-industrial landscapes from the Ruhrgebiet to the US Rust Belt have become subject of vivid debate in literary and cultural studies, in economics, in architecture and urban planning. Building on the idea of productively using the existing interdisciplinary dialogue, this class focuses on poetry as a resource for addressing processes of urban transformation and reinvention.
Poetry enables the open expression of conflict over space and its multiple interpretations; the poetry of radical urban transformation points to the gaps de-industrialization has left behind and fills them with new life beyond economic investment, and beyond tearing down structures. Its language and form go beyond the well-known narrative of decline, neglect and deficit. Poetry here is a resource for survival – under intense economic and other pressures it is, to speak with Audre Lorde, “not a luxury.” Building on this understanding, this class addresses writings about the post-industrial landscape as negotiations of space but also as – at times daring – inquiries into personal identity, social justice, and well-being.
While the main focus of this class is on poets from Detroit, MI, students are encouraged to bring own suggestions for writings to discuss to class, and to develop their voices by writing their own pieces. Readings include established poets such as Philip Levine and Melba Joyce Boyd, but also emerging voices as Jamaal May, Kristin Palm and Dunya Mikhail.

Reading List

A reader including poems and some theoretical material will be made available at the beginning of the semester.

2009 703, 704 602, 1001, 1002 602, 701, 702, 1002, 1003 703
2016 602, 703, 704 602, 701, 702, 1002, 1003 602, 701, 702, 1002, 1004 703
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:
PO vor WS 16/17:
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  • Komp: 3abc, 4a
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  • Komp: 4a
1abc, 3bc 2ab
PO ab WS 16/17:
  • Kern: 6ac, 7c
  • Komp: 3acd, 4a
  • Kern: 6bc
  • Komp: 4a
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