Politics and Poetics of Fear after 9/11: Claudia Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely

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Abstract

The rise of the ekphrastic poem at the turn of the twenty-first century speaks of a preoccupation with the mediated representations that are increasingly a part of perceived reality. In the wake of “terror,” what we know and how we know it are subjects of fundamental importance. Mixed-media poet Claudia Rankine turns a revealing lens on the ontological implications of how combinations of words and images construct the world, taking in the virtual and material nature of contemporary existence as well as questioning the commercial and political image-texts that constitute reality for most people. I will argue that Rankine's hybrid and complex texts are representative of an increasingly urgent need to attend to the heavily mediated nature of experience and the emotional disconnect this often entails, revealing the need for a reassessment of the responsibilities involved in making representations for public consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-791
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of American Studies
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2011

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