Royal Institute of Philosophy Seminar Wednesday 28 September 2016

Machicado Suite, Willoughby Hall
Wednesday 28th September 2016 (15:00-17:00)

Karen Simecek (University of Warwick) Claudia Rankine's 'Citizen' and the value of intimacy in poetry.

In this paper, I highlight a valuable way in which some works of lyric poetry can engage us in a kind of intimate relationship with the voice of the poem. I argue that by establishing an intimate connection, poetry has the potential to reveal something of great moral significance for it can help us attend to our own evaluative perspectives (i.e. our set of personal values and commitments to import that organise our thoughts and experience) as we attempt to form a shared perspective with the poetic voice. However, the poetic experience does not merely raise awareness of our own evaluative perspectives, it also has the potential to put pressure on how our values and commitments shape our thoughts and experience. In illustrating my claims, I will focus on Claudia Rankine's sequence of poems Citizen (2014), which is concerned with everyday racism in American society and how we might be failing one another as people.

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Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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