LLCL - Technicians of the Sacred: Ethnopoetics & the New Indigenous Poetries
University of Melbourne
Event Date: Wed 26 Jul
Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics (LLCL)
Free Poetry Reading
Technicians of the Sacred: Ethnopoetics & the New Indigenous Poetries
Keynote Speaker: Jerome Rothenberg
Coinciding with the publication of an expanded fiftieth anniversary edition of Technicians of the Sacred, Rothenberg will explore the early history of ethnopoetics for which that book was one of the early starting points. Drawing from the new introduction to the book he will begin with the emergence in the 1950s and 1960s of a specifically delineated “ethnopoetics” as a collaborative work of poets and scholars to which he was a close witness and active participant. He will then propose a linkage to the survival and revival of many indigenous languages and poetries in the early twenty first century, with a sense that change rather than stasis has been at the heart of these poetries as well as of our own.
Jerome Rothenberg’s ground-breaking ethnopoetic anthology Technicians of the Sacred was first published in 1968, and remains a cornerstone of the ethnopoetics movement. The anthology first displayed Rothenberg’s innovative translation techniques, and drew startling parallels between oral and ritual poetries and avant-garde experiments, including concrete, visual, language, and sound poetry. Ethnopoetics synthesises ethnography, linguistics, and poetry, and has had a notable influence on the reflexive turn in anthropology.
Rothenberg’s career as a poet, translation, anthologist, professor, and anthropologist has spanned fifty years, since his first work of translation was published in 1959 by Ferlinghetti’s City Lights press. His preoccupations include Jewish mysticism, first-wave modernism including Dada and Surrealism, and the championing of indigenous and outsider poetries.
His numerous awards and honours include grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; two PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Awards; two PEN Center USA West Translation Awards; and the San Diego Public Library’s Local Author Lifetime Achievement Award. He remains Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
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For further information please contact:
Dr John Hawk