This Spring, Daniel DeWisepelare has been teaching Critical Methods (ENGL 2800W), and his students for this course will be presenting their work on critical theory and literature at “A Critical Methods Symposium and Party” today at 2pm in Rome Hall 771. The Symposium is in its second year and testifies to the thriving culture in the English Department. It also speaks to Professor DeWispelare’s abiding passion for language, discourse communities, and the life of literature. Scott Dillon, an ENGL 2470, recently asked the scholar of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries about the poems that matter to him. Among the poets he notes are Jack Gilbert, John Keats, and Mary Robinson, whose poem “January 1795” he shares at the end of the following interview.
What are some your experiences with poetry?
I will say that I have probably less experience with poetry than a lot of people. I came to poetry later in life than many. The thing that always got me into literature was prose, so let’s say, the desire vested in the unfolding arc of a novel. I have a kind of crude sense of what poetry does, but I think it communicates in very different ways.
Who are some your favorite poets?
I like this guy, Jack Gilbert and there are other poets I like that come from other traditions. I like this guy…..who is a Russian language poet. I do like John Keats and the Romantic poets, although sometimes I think, the Romantic poets are little over the edge for me. I look at the world, really different than they look at the world. But, that’s one of the reasons I find their poetry so interesting. I never got into the high Modernists. I had a really brief dalliance with liking T. S. Eliot or at least thinking that that kind of stuff T.S. Eliot was doing was the kind of intellectual work I thought literature could do. But I think I kind of moved on from that.
Eliot writes in a narrative way, so I would think that would be more approachable?
Absolutely. I would say Eliot writes in a more montage way, that would be my brief response to that as oppose to a narrative. Compare it to the narrative function of prose…
He’s getting the same affect with a different technique?
No way, but no means. I’m taking about dirty spy novel; a chaotic unfolding of weird events that are stitched together. I’m sure poetry can do analogous things, but not the same things. [slight pause] I’m trying to think…so some of my favorites of the romantic poems are Keats’ odes. I’ve never been into Blake, sorry Jennifer. I think Jennifer is into Blake, or maybe Jennifer and I agree on a dislike of Blake, maybe I’m misremembering this. But anyway, if you know William Blake’s weird poetic world, there’s this kind of genre of scholars in my field, that are absolutely obsessed with William Blake, and I’ve always had a hard time digesting it. [slight pause] Similarly, Byron, who is kind of central to my period…if anything, I suppose the person I feel closest to, even though he is kind of a strange individual is William Wordsworth, in this period.
Have you ever written any poetry of your own?
Infrequently. I’m quite interested in the poetic function vis-à-vis, Roman Jakobson, but I haven’t necessarily composed poetry. Although, I have from time to time, written poetry to people. But generally, in a more ironic voice, not as something serious…
The GW English Department is happy to announce that Jordan Coggins will be our Communications Liaison for the 2014-2015 school year! As the Communications Liaison, Jordan will be helping out with the social media channels for the GW English Department, including this blog, our Facebook page, and Twitter. Jordan is pursuing a B.A. in English…
Raising High & Waving Goodbye: Jordan Hutchinson, a 2021 GW English graduate, is currently working as an Editorial Intern for the New Jersey Digest (thedigestonline.com) and she will be putting out regular articles through mid-May. She has also written an article in the first ever physical copy of the Digest, which is linked on their website! …
Dr. Alexa Alice Joubin, professor of English and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at George Washington University, and founding co-director of the Digital Humanities Institute, has recently completed her latest work; Shakespeare & East Asia. This book is part of Oxford University Press’s Oxford Shakespeare Topics Series, and in it you’ll learn about Korean transgender cinema, East Asian…
…. to Magali Armillas-Tiseyra (BA ’05), who is completing a PhD in Comparative Literature at New York University. Magali just landed a position as assistant professor at the University of Mississippi. English alumna Magai Armallis-Tiseyra will be joining the faculty at the Univ. of Mississippi … to Prof. Holly Dugan, whose recent book The Ephemeral…
Global Shakespeares Symposium, a Recap by Jason Demeter (originally published in The Shakespeare Standard) Global Shakespeares Symposium was held in January 2014 at George Washington University. Presenters considered the intersections of Shakespearean scholarship and globalization by exploring polyglot, multicultural, and marginalized portrayals of Shakespeare in the global market and international (digital) archives. Jason Demeter, a…
Tawnya Ravy Graduate student Tawnya Ravy has won a prestigious Summer Research Fellowship for 2013 from the Northeast Modern Languages Association. This fellowship will allow her to travel to Emory University in Atlanta to work in the newly opened Salman Rushdie Archive at the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Library, and to conduct critical research for…