A MITH Digital Dialogue
Tuesday, April 20, 12:30-1:45
MITH Conference Room, McKeldin Library B0135

“Performance in Digital Poetry: Technique, Spectacle, and Representation of Cultural Intersections”

With origins in the avant-garde movement of the first half of twentieth century, digital poetry extends the creative repertoire of this experimental poetry tradition using computers in the composition, generation, or presentation of texts. If in Italian Futurist poetry performance engages with the traditional conventions such as spatial distribution of elements on page that make the work a poem, in digital poetry performance becomes part of poetry making. Computer programming turns such poetry into interactive sites of encounter between authors, texts, and readers. In so doing, it invites speculation about the nature of poetry and generates debates on how digital spaces represent places where these identities meet, interact, and overlap. Moreover, the aspect of performance as spectacle and of digital poetry as scripted performance in particular, emphasizes a symbiotic relationship between digital poetry and its readers. This talk will approach performance through the lens of three interrelated aspects: as a technique of digital poetry creation; as spectacle; and as representation of cultural intersections. Theoretical considerations drawn from the work of Gianni Toti, Caterina Davinio, and Loss Pequeno Glazier will frame more general discussion of the poetry.

MIRONA MAGEARU is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at University of Maryland, College Park. She received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Bucharest, Romania, a Master’s degree in communication from The National School of Political Studies, Bucharest, and another Master’s degree in English from Emporia State University, Kansas. During her graduate studies she became fascinated with the power of computerized typography and explored the relationship between digital studies and rhetoric. Funded by a MITH dissertation fellowship in Spring 2010 she conducted archival research on video poetry at La Casa Totiana, Rome, and at The University of Pisa. She is currently working on her dissertation project, a comparative analysis which engages works produced by Loss Pequeno Glazier (a United States digital poet of Tejano origins) and Caterina Davinio, an Italian computer pioneer. This comparative study extends work on performance developed by theater and poetry theorists and uses its findings to investigate whether the performance of digital poetry opens up space for new and potentially more inclusive conceptions of identity.

Coming up @ MITH 4/27: Ray Siemens (Victoria), “Tool Mashing, The Devonshire MS (BL Add 17492) and its Networks”

View MITH’s complete Digital Dialogues schedule here:

All talks are free and open to the public!

Contact: Neil Fraistat, Director, MITH (www.mith.umd.edu, mith@umd.edu, 5-8927)