Dr Amy De'Ath
Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Culture
Telephone +44 (0)20 7848 3460
Address Department of English
King's College London
Virginia Woolf Building Room 7.14
London WC2B 6LE
Research interests and PhD supervision
I joined King’s in 2017, after completing my Leverhulme-funded PhD at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. I earned my BA at the University of East Anglia, my MA at University College London, and worked in London for several years before moving to Canada.
My research focuses on literature and culture’s capacity to render legible the abstractions of identity categories, and on how literary texts—especially poetry—provide another mode of theoretical inquiry: one in which formal strategies and stylistic techniques engender aesthetic experiences that can deepen our understandings of theoretical arguments and historical events. I see this as a crucial tool for feminist scholarship, and I am particularly interested in developing new feminist reading methods based on the critique of value and theories of abstraction.
My book manuscript, Unsociable Poetry: Antagonism and Abstraction in Contemporary Feminized Poetics, argues that twenty-first century North American poetry mobilizes two key dynamics—abstraction and antagonism—to illuminate the hidden recesses of feminized and racialized experience, showing how such experience is ‘form-determined’ by capitalist modes of value-production. A second project-in-progress, ‘Aesthetics of Abolition Since 1973’, asks how poetry in an era of economic downturn articulates an otherwise ambiguous desire for the abolition of abstract categories such as gender, race, class, labour, or capital – the fundamental grounds on which our social worlds are built.
I welcome PhD proposals aligned in any way with my research and/or the following areas:
- Late twentieth and early twenty-first century poetry and poetics, especially at the intersections of feminist, black and indigenous studies
- Theories of social reproduction, gender and racialization
- Marxian theories of value, abstraction, and form-determination, particularly as dialectical methodologies for reading literary texts
- Indigenous and First Nations literatures and the politics of recognition
- ‘Gender and Social Reproduction’, SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, forthcoming 2018).
- ‘Against Objectivism: Claudia Rankine’s Citizen’, Contemporary Poetics and Praxis ‘After’ Objectivism, ed. W. Scott Howard and Broc Rossell (Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, forthcoming 2017).
- ‘Decolonize or Destroy: New Feminist Poetry in the US and Canada’, Women: A Cultural Review 26:3 (2015): 285-305.
- ‘“Go in boys. Go in and stay there”: Feminist Poetry and Reading Dialectically’, Anguish Language: Writing and Crisis, ed. Marina Vishmidt, Anthony Iles, John Cunningham, and Mira Mattar. (Berlin: Archive Books, 2015), 263-278.
- Edited collection: Toward. Some. Air.: Remarks on Poetics, co-edited with Fred Wah (Banff: Banff Centre Press, 2015).
Expertise and public engagement
I teach contemporary literature, culture and theory at postgraduate and undergraduate level.
I am also a published poet and frequently give readings in the UK, US, and Canada. My most recent publication is ON MY LOVE FOR gender abolition (New York: Capricious, 2016). My poetry has been widely anthologized, and translated into Spanish and Catalan. In addition, I have given public talks at various institutions in the UK, US and Canada, on topics ranging from gendered violence in poetry communities to literary video archives.