What is Authors’ Poetics? – University of Copenhagen

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What is Authors’ Poetics?

In contemporary literary scholarship poetics is a collective designation which in the broadest sense “[…] seems to mean little more than ‘theory’”.[1] Authors’ poetics/Poetik der Autoren[2] is a more specific, generic term designating the genre or genres in which authors reflect on the topics of poetics – the functions of literature, the semiotics of tropes, the writing process, the effect on the reader etc. – often based in their own experiences with writing poetry or fiction. Prominent examples are the lectures given at the University of Oxford by poets in the position of Professor of Poetry and the Germanic ’Poetikvorlesungen’. Other examples include Pierre Reverdy’s notes on poetry and Umberto Eco’s Post-Script to The Name of the Rose. The study of texts such as these addresses questions of generic relations, intertextuality, rhetorical strategies, and more.

The seminar “What is Authors’ Poetics?” is an international forum for debate of issues related to the genre(s) of authors’ poetics. Which genres are related to authors’ poetics? Which rhetorical situations do they entail? How do the authors strategically benefit from the genre? How can the study of authors’ poetics contribute to literary scholarship? The seminar will be conducted in English.


12.00-12.15 Welcome

12.15-13.15 Prof. Dr. Sandra Richter, Universität Stuttgart:
Horace’s ’Epistula ad Pisones’: A Prominent Authors’ Poetics and its Reception

13.15-14.15 Prof. David Duff, University of Aberdeen:
Romantic Authorship and Self-Theorization: Genres, Purposes, Locations

14.15-14.30 Coffee break

14.30-15.30 Associate prof. Erik Skyum-Nielsen, University of Copenhagen:
Authors’ Poetics on Poetry and Prose. The Norwegian contributions from late 20th and early 21st Century

15.30-16.30 Associate prof. René Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen:
Is poetics a fiction about truth ... in poems? Some remarks about Paul Celan

16.30-17.30 PhD fellow Michael Kallesøe Schmidt, University of Copenhagen:
Rhetorical and Literary Aspects of Authors’ Poetics

Download programme here.

“What is Authors’ Poetics?” is arranged and hosted by the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen. Registration is not necessary.

[1] T.V.F. Brogan: ”Poetics”. In: The new Princeton encyclopedia of poetry and poetics. Ed. Alex Preminger and T.V.F. Brogan. 3rd ed. Princeton (1993), p. 929.

[2] Paul Michael Lützeler: Poetik der Autoren. Beiträge zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur. Frankfurt am Main (1994).