Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

English

First Advisor

Charles Bernstein

Second Advisor

Josephine Park

Abstract

This dissertation examines a selection of Asian American experimental poetries from the 1960’s to the present day through the sensory paradigms of avant-garde aesthetic discourse. By approaching both the poem and racial formation in sonic terms, this dissertation project argues that rethinking the sensory as well as the political ramifications of sounding can help us recuperate Asian American poets’ often overlooked experimentation with poetic form. Specifically, I read the works of Marilyn Chin, Theresa Cha, John Yau, Cathy Park Hong, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and Tan Lin. By tracing the historical conditions of Orientalist objectification and re-interrogating postmodern theories of sight, sound, and the body, I seek to show how these poets’ invocation of sonic paradigms reworks those theories and to broaden our critical vocabulary for writing about sound in poetry.

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