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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Professor Willard Bohn: 'The Birth of Modern Visual Poetry'

13th February 2008, 17:15, A56, Elvet Riverside I
Professor Willard Bohn, Illinois State University and visiting IAS Fellow at the University of Durham, will be giving a paper entitled 'The Birth of Modern Visual Poetry' on 13 February 2008 as part of the Modern Languages Seminar Series.

In contrast to traditional poetry, visual poems are conceived not only as literary works but also as works of art. Although they continue to provide visual cues that aid in deciphering the text, they function simultaneously as visual compositions. The lecture discusses several precursors and three crises of the sign that accompanied the birth of modern visual poetry. Invented nearly simultaneously in 1914 by the Italian Futurists and Guillaume Apollinaire, the genre assumed two radically different forms that determined how it would evolve throughout the rest of the century. The lecture will be accompanied by illustrations taken from Italy, France, Spain, Mexico, Brasil, and Argentina.

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