Listen Closely: Lyric Voices from Dada to Nicki Minaj

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 8:30am to 9:30am
Helen S. Schaefer Building, home to the UA Poetry Center and the Humanities Seminars Program, 1508 E. Helen Street (at Vine Avenue), UA campus

Lyric Voices from Dada to Nicki Minaj  

presented by John Melillo, Department of English 


Everyday we are inundated by the voices of others. Through daily conversation, music, literature, and even our technological gadgets, we are awash in a sea of voice. All these voices create what philosopher Mladen Dolar describes as, “the very texture of the social,” but what kind of “social texture” do we hear in voices that appear unusual or incomprehensible to our sense of proper communication and aesthetics? If we listen closely, the noisy voices of sound poetry and the schizophrenic rhythms of contemporary hip-hop paradoxically speak—with much difficulty, anxiety, and wonder—to us about our social world. They present a surprising version of ourselves back to ourselves, and seem to follow Alexander Pope’s famous dictum, “what oft was thought but never so well expressed.”