The Department of English Language and Literatures Speaker Series presents
by Margaret Ronda (University of California, Davis)
February 26, 2020
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Jason Moore’s recent arguments about the end of “cheap nature” and the closing of resource frontiers indicate temporal dimensions particularly expressive of the Capitalocene present: intensification, simultaneity, and stagnation. These key temporal dynamics, in turn, are reflections of the broader metabolic relations and rifts that develop through capitalism’s planetary transformations. This talk considers the ways such dynamics find formal expression in a series of contemporary texts by North American poets, exploring the ways they draw on and reconfigure the temporal logics of poetic genres (lyric, epic, documentary) to convey the determinations, contradictions, and uneven tempos of their present. In their immanent attention to the motions of socioecological time, these works illuminate capitalism’s ever-more-intensive imbrications in biospheric processes and embodied forms, exploring forms of everyday crisis where accumulation and displacement, development and diminishment are indelibly intertwined.
Dr. Margaret Ronda is associate professor of English at the University of California, Davis. She specializes in American poetry from the nineteenth century to the present, and her particular areas of interest include Marxist criticism, aesthetic and genre theory, ecological literary modes, and poetics. Her critical book, Remainders: American Poetry at Nature’s End, attends to the ways American poets and poems dramatize an ever-clearer sense of planetary environmental crisis by reimagining poetic genres such as pastoral and elegy.