Expanded Poetry:
The Poetics and Politics
of Repetition

International Conference (online)

23-25 november 2022

org. Institute for Comparative Literature

Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto

This poster borrows a poem by Abílio-José Santos included in V(l)er (1987)

Call for papers

The history of poetry is a history of repetition. Poetry has always been shaped by repetition, not only through the repetitive mechanisms of language itself but also through the meter, rhyme, structure, alliterations, anaphors, parallelisms, among other kinds of repetition at the structural, phonetic, rhetorical or lexical levels. In addition, repetition is also crucial for understanding literary periods and movements, as well as for grasping the relationships they establish with each other. Crucially, research has demonstrated how even the discourses of the avant-gardes, with their proposal of radical variation, are often linked to previous historical periods. To a certain extent, what some of these poets and artists did was to critically recover and reconfigure the work of their precursors through the means of variational repetition.

Dick Higgins (1987) used the term “pattern poetry” to refer himself to the long tradition of visual and verbal fusion in works that precede and anticipate the innovations of the 20th century avant-gardes by hundreds of years. On the one hand, these works reveal the dense history of visual-text hybridity. On the other hand, they point out the pervasive nature of repetition as the crucial formal element that structures such works. Other poets, artists and researchers, such as Haroldo de Campos and Ana Hatherly, engaged in similar missions. They did not necessarily repeat Higgins, but their archeology of poetic forms also goes back to Classical Antiquity.

Already after the turn of the second millennium, N. Katherine Hayles (2012) used the term “reading pattern” to explain how we read today and, until proven otherwise, how we will read in the future. Whatever the medial support of the text, its writing and reading processes always respond to patterns, that is, to repetitions. In this sense, we can say that repetition is present in every single text. Simultaneously, repetition also produces points of contact – of conflict and dialogue – between different texts and different times.

The modern figure of the author, associated with the correlated notion of the original artwork with its singular and unrepeatable characteristics, does not offer much room for repetition. However, repetition has always been key to the praxis of poetry. Expanding on some of the main procedures that we find in the concrete and experimental poetry of the second half of the 20th century, the strategies that in the 21st century characterize conceptual and digital poetry, for example, are often based on gestures of appropriation and remixing, among other iterative writing practices. With this, they activate and radically explore the possibilities of repetition.

Unlike artists in general, as Marjorie Perloff (2010) pointed out, poets are required to be original when producing words, phrases, images and locutions that we have never heard before. What about poems that use repetition as a mechanism for the production of meaning? And what about those poems that, to do the latter, do not restrict themselves to verbal language only, but rather seek to question and expand the materials and media of writing inscription?

This conference will take as its unifying axis a reflection on the concept of repetition in the context of the present-day expanded poetics. One of the main goals of the conference will be to discuss the material and medial expressiveness of contemporary poetic practices, also outlining the cultural, social and political implications of repetition. The discussion will therefore focus not only on repetition but also on variation, thus seeking to stimulate a reflection on the dialogic relationships these notions create between them.

We welcome proposals that grapple with the expansions of artistic and media boundaries that define the post-literary practices in the 21st century. We are particularly interested in comparative media approaches, as well as in critical reflections about practices of remediation and transmediation. We strongly believe that these are the objects that more usefully flag and help us understand the concept of repetition today. While they do so, they also highlight a retrospective chronology that makes visible the long trail of repetition and variation through time.

Some of the topics include (but are not limited to):

Repetition and intra and intertextual relationships
Repetition and inter, trans and post-mediality
Repetition and material transformation
Repetition and media hybridity
Repetition and the post-literary

Repetition as difference
Repetition as link and nexus
Repetition as refusal and breach
Repetition as practice and process
Repetition as program and project
Repetition as medial transposition
Repetition as intersemiotic translation

Repetition through appropriation and remix
Repetition through serialization and sequencing
Repetition through permutation and combinatorics
Repetition through copying, reproduction and reframing

Repetition in visual, performative, aural and multimodal poetics
Repetition in concrete, experimental, conceptual and digital poetry
Repetition in i(n)tera(c)tive writing practices and in networked programmable media
Repetition in the traditions that link contemporary poetics to their historical antecedents


Please send your abstract (max. 300 words) and short bio (100 words) to expanded.poetry.ilcml@gmail.com.

Deadline for submissions is June 15, 2022. Decisions will be made by July 20, 2022.

We accept papers in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Felipe Cussen (U. Santiago Chile), Jacob Edmond (U. Otago), Rita Raley (U. California, Santa Barbara) and Rui Torres (U. Fernando Pessoa).

For questions, please contact the conference chair at brunoministro@letras.up.pt.


Host institution

Scientific Committee

Alckmar Luiz dos Santos (U. Federal Santa Catarina)

Alethia Alfonso García (U. Iberoamericana)

Álvaro Seiça (U. Bergen)

Ana Marques (U. Coimbra)

Annette Gilbert (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Arturo Casas (U. Santiago Compostela)

Claudia Kozak (U. Buenos Aires)

Craig Dworkin (U. Utah)

David Pinho Barros (U. Porto)

Diogo Marques (U. Nova Lisboa)

Eunice Ribeiro (U. Minho)

Eva Figueras Ferrer (U. Barcelona)

Georgina Colby (U. Westminster)

Graça Capinha (U. Coimbra)

Jan Baetens (KU. Leuven)

João Paulo Guimarães (U. Porto)

Jussi Parikka (U. Aarhus)

Manuel Portela (U. Coimbra)

Maria Elena Minuto (U. Liège / KU. Leuven)

Patrícia Lino (U. California, Los Angeles)

Pauline M. Bachmann (U. Zurich)

Pedro Eiras (U. Porto)

Pénélope Patrix (U. Lisboa)

Rebecca Kosick (U. Bristol)

Roberto Cruz Arzabal (U. Veracruzana)

Rosa Maria Martelo (U. Porto)

Sandra Guerreiro Dias (IP Beja / U. Coimbra)




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