The East Asian Speakers Series presents a talk by Dr. Zhange Ni, Lyric Poetry in the Era of Digital Labor this Thursday, October 12, 4pm at the Purple Lounge (Robarts Library, 14th floor).
The talk explores the role and status of lyric poetry in contemporary capitalism, and financialization of the Chinese documentary film The Verse of Us/Iron Moon (2015) that features migrant worker poets and their dagong poetry. The permeation of information and communication technologies has not only reconfigured the global (and Chinese) working class but also exacerbated the tension between lyric poetry as the supreme doxology of digital capitalism and the outcry of the cyber-proletariat. This talk argues that the lyric is first and foremost a mode of production. What the film produces in and through appropriating the creativity as well as the suffering bodies of migrant workers is the sublime figure of the poet as the paradigmatic neoliberal subjectivity, whereas the poems written by migrant workers resist the subsumption of art into the machine of capitalism by enacting machinic mimicry/detoumement aimed at regrounding our existence.