Poetry Across Media in 20th-Century Japan
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Campana, Andrew Pasquale
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CitationCampana, Andrew Pasquale. 2018. Poetry Across Media in 20th-Century Japan. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractIn this dissertation, I expand accounts of poetic production in Japan with a focus on the 1920s to the 1980s, combining approaches from literary and media studies to encompass poetry both on and off the page. I foreground poetry that exists between and beyond media: where printed and spoken poetic text is one node in a dense network of visual art, film, music, sound recordings, digital video, and live performance. I focus on the development of hybrid poetic practices crossing over several media forms, and on how these practices were not only impacted by, but actively aimed to disrupt, the norms of emerging media—technologies, forms, and practices—at each time. By focusing on poetic works in an emphatically broad sense, I present an alternate history of modern Japanese poetry in conversation with disciplines and movements in relation to which it is rarely discussed, one that sheds light on non-normative engagements with media at several distinct moments.
Chapter 1 looks at how the “cinepoem” of the 1920s and 1930s was used as a way to reimagine the possibilities of cinema beyond its technological capabilities and market pressures, the cinepoem form peaking just as “talkie films” threatened to change the medium forever. Chapter 2 considers “poems for tape recorder” composed in postwar Japan. I show how poetic practices drew from sonic practices in order to remake the media landscape through the logics of composition and performance, using an expanded notion of writing in which bodies, materials, and sensations could themselves be “scored.” Chapter 3 focuses on two poets in the 1980s who were also public media figures—one poetry superstar, and one alternative pop star—who created a new kind of feminist cross-media poetics centered around women’s bodies, using popular media forms like music videos, magazines, and self-help guides. Chapter 4 explores the poet Yokota Hiroshi, a leader in Japan’s disability rights movement, who used his own experiences of cerebral palsy to bring together poetry, activism, and assistive technologies within a “disability poetics.” As a coda, I look at the development of Japanese Sign Language poetry and other contemporary poetry online, practices that bring together the considerations of the previous chapters in the questions they raise about poetry, new media, disability, feminism, and the body in the present day.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41128132
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