I recently gave a presentation, "Why some black poetry sounds boring to black students" at the Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies conference, which took place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 20 and 21.
Here's my abstract:
This presentation increases our knowledge of sound studies by taking into account the agency of African American student listeners. The scholarly discourses on American and African American literature devote relatively little attention to the perspectives of black students. Nonetheless, the disparagement of poet voice or what was more commonly referred to as “boring” sounding poetry among the large number of black students I worked with over the years motivated me to expand the range of recordings I obtained and presented. My presentation explains my efforts over the last several years utilizing audio recordings of African American poets while working with black students at the collegiate and high school levels. A consideration of student responses to poetry that they find uninteresting on the one hand and poetry they find captivating on the other might assist us in developing curriculums and sound archives that are ultimately more diverse and inclusive.---------------
I've been thinking and blogging about the topic for a while based on my experiences covering audio recordings of African American poetry with my students over the last decade.
• Understanding the favorite poets of black women students
• Why some collegiate black women might find contemporary black poetry boring