Thesis title: The Auditory Imagination: Unsound Listening Practices in Midcentury American Poetry
Supervisors: Dr Erica McAlpine and Dr Tara Stubbs
Doctoral Research: My PhD thesis examines the development in the mid-twentieth American poetry of what Eliot – then Spark – termed ‘the auditory imagination’. Tuning in to material developments in sound media, it looks at the ways that mid-century U.S. poets imagined auditory experience, tracing how poetry of this period that not only gave attention to the aesthetics of this sonic turn, but also to its ethics: the politics of aurality. From studied eavesdropping, to absorbed listening, to radio listeners, the thesis argues that the poem form provided the resources for the performance of – and lesson in – listening and analyses its techniques in the work of Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery. My research is funded by the Oxford-Drue-Heinz St John’s Graduate Scholarship.
Research interests: nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, sound studies, textual materiality and material culture, modernism