The sonic text: translingualism and transmediality in contemporary poetic practices

Ravn-Højgaaard, Pernille Cordelia (2020) The sonic text: translingualism and transmediality in contemporary poetic practices. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


This thesis examines the interstices of translingualism and transmediality in contemporary poetry by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, M. NourebeSe Philip, Erín Moure, Caroline Bergvall, Cecilia Vicuña, and Anne Tardos, published and performed within a largely anglophone context. While the works discussed in the thesis all have the English language in common, the texts are always translingual, exploring the boundaries and intersections between different languages. Similarly, the poets all mix translingual with transmedia strategies, blending textual, visual, sonic, and performative expressions in their work. The focus is on the close reading of poetic texts and publications, albeit sometimes in relation to performative works, in order to explore the vibrancy of poetic publications after a century of transdisciplinary, transmedia and translingual experimentation. Each chapter performs close readings of specific works in order to bring out and examine the specificities of these works, which, I argue, make up a particularly vibrant moment in the history of poetry. I call the contemporary manifestation of the medium of poetry as it is enacted in the works that the thesis examines ‘the sonic text’. Using Karen Barad’s concept of intra-action as theoretical backdrop, the thesis seeks to apply a sonic vocabulary to the reading of poetic texts in order to account for the vibrancy of this particular moment in the history of poetry, where the borders and boundaries between languages and media are contested and explored in new ways. Contrary to previous translingual and transmedia experiments, sonic texts repeatedly draw attention to questions of identity and intersectionality that have tended to be contested, if not erased, in avant-garde aesthetics, discourse, and criticism. In various ways, the works discussed enact concrete and conceptual sonorities that suggest more vibrant conceptions of authorship, readership, poetic voices, and the intra-relations between these. The ‘sonic text’ accounts for these conceptions and their relationships to pressing ethical and political questions about (co)existence and identity in a world affected by globalization as well as by technological and digital development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright issues this thesis is not available for viewing. Grant award: AHRC DTP 70042.
Keywords: Poetry, multilingualism, translingualism, contemporary poetry, lyric, experimental poetry, transmedia, visual poetry, sound poetry.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Kolocotroni, Dr. Vassiliki and Herd, Dr. Colin
Date of Award: 2020
Embargo Date: 22 April 2022
Depositing User: Ms Pernille Ravn-Højgaard
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81989
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2021 10:39
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2021 10:39
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81989

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