Anarchists in the Academy

Machines and Free Readers in Experimental Poetry


Anarchists in the Academy

Dani Spinosa takes up anarchism’s power as a cultural and artistic ideology, rather than as a political philosophy, with a persistent emphasis on the common. She demonstrates how postanarchism offers a useful theoretical context for poetry that is not explicitly political—specifically for the contemporary experimental poem with its characteristic challenges to subjectivity, representation, authorial power, and conventional constructions of the reader-text relationship. Her case studies of sixteen texts make a bold move toward politicizing readers and imbuing literary theory with an activist praxis—a sharp hope. This is a provocative volume for those interested in contemporary poetics, experimental literatures, and the digital humanities.

Case Studies
Jim Andrews
Christian Bök
Mez Breeze
John Cage
Andy Campbell
Robert Duncan
Kenneth Goldsmith
Susan Howe
Jackson Mac Low
Erín Moure [Erin Mouré]
Harryette Mullen
Vanessa Place
Juliana Spahr
Brian Kim Stefans
W. Mark Sutherland
Darren Wershler

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Front cover 1
Title page 4
Copyright page 5
Dedication 6
Contents 8
Acknowledgements 10
Introduction 12
1 Precursors to Digital Writing 40
Jackson Mac Low Is Something Something 42
John Cage Making Excessive Noise 53
Robert Duncan Plagiarizing 64
bpNichol for the Curious Viewer/Reader 74
2 Feminism, Print, Machines 90
Susan Howe Sleeping in the Library 93
Erín Moure’s Name in Quotation Marks 110
[Juliana Spahr Prefers Both 123
Harryette Mullen Making Kimchee in a Museum 134
3 Easy Concepts 146
Kenneth Goldsmith Talking to Himself 150
Vanessa Place Without Serifs 163
Christian Bök Obsolesces the Avant-Garde 173
Darren Wershler andor Any Number of Readers 181
4 Digital Interventions 192
Jim Andrews Drifts Apart 195
W. Mark Sutherland Puts the Cedar in Abecedarian 205
Brian Kim Stefans Alphabetizes Dreams 216
Andy Campbell, Mez Breeze, and the Constrict(l)ure of Code 225
Conclusion 238
Notes 244
Works Cited 254
Permissions 272
Index 274
About the Author 294
Other Titles from The University of Alberta Press 297