RE/Engaging Trauma: The Transcultural Counterwitness and Contemporary American Poetry

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, Wetteri auditorium (IT115)

Topic of the dissertation

RE/Engaging Trauma: The Transcultural Counterwitness and Contemporary American Poetry

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts Matthew Moran

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Literature

Subject of study

Contemporary American poetry, journalism, and trauma


Professor Joel Kuortti, University of Turku


Professor Kuisma Korhonen, University of Oulu

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American Poetry’s Response to Journalism Following Trauma in the 21st Century

The research discusses the ways contemporary ethnic American poetry engages in public discussions of race and ethnicity. Through an examination of selected ethnic American poets, this study investigates how poetry draws attention to the widespread stereotyping of non-White Americans in U.S. journalism following events of public tragedy.

The poets under discussion are Anthony Cody, Claudia Rankine, Martin Espada, Suheir Hammad, and Walidah Imarisha. The events are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Trayvon Martin, and the rise of White Nationalism following the election of Donald J. Trump.

The study argues that poetry can lead readers to new understandings of American and global racism. The study also explores how new technologies have made poetry more mainstream and accessible in the 21st century. Lastly, the study uncovers the ways that poetry promotes inclusion and equality. According to the study, poetry can lead to a wider recognition of who is and is not given the full privileges of U.S. citizenship.
Last updated: 23.1.2024