University of Leicester
Language, the Reader and Social Critique in Contemporary Visual and Digital Poetry (pdf).pdf (7 MB)

Language, the Reader and Social Critique in Contemporary Visual and Digital Poetry

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posted on 2023-03-06, 09:28 authored by Ana Amélia Rodrigues dos Santos

The project investigates challenges imposed by visual and digital poetry in our preconceptions about language and some of our normative social attitudes, redefining the role of the reader in the experience of poetry. The research starts from an examination of the use of language in modern and contemporary visual and digital poetry. It maps out poetic innovations that involved a process of materialising and motivating language throughout the twentieth century and examines the impact of new technologies on the transition from print to digital poetry and on the reading process. Working with close reading and poststructuralist approaches, the project examines a corpus of contemporary visual and digital poetry, developing a holistic approach that considers not only self-reflexive uses of languages but also the critical interaction with social discourses. The analysis is grounded in a detailed understanding of the poetic composition, including their intermedial and intertextual components, and the reader interaction. The main corpus is composed of the visual poems “Woman” and “Viole(n)t” by Kathy S. Ernst, “Nome” and “Não tem que” by Arnaldo Antunes, and Eunoia and “Odalisques” by Christian Bök; and the digital poems “Amor de Clarice” and “Poemas no meio do caminho” by Rui Torres, and “Game game game and again game” and “A nervous system” by Jason Nelson.



Fransiska Louwagie; Elizabeth Jones

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Arts

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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