Claire Grandy

Claire Grandy
2019-2020 GRADUATE FELLOW

Biography

Claire Grandy is a fifth-year doctoral candidate with the Department of English. Her research focuses on 20th-century documentary poetry, photography studies, and British romanticism. Her dissertation, "Documentary Poetry and the Photographic Record from Wordsworth to Lewis," tracks the rise of a documentary impulse in Anglophone poetry in relation to photography, not as a singular technological invention but as a theoretical object that both responds to and prescribes ways of seeing the world. This project traces a history of visual and discursive “photo-poetics,” poetry that grapples with ideals and problematics of record-keeping, through the works of writers including William Wordsworth, Gertrude Stein, Charles Reznikoff, Dionne Brand, Robin Coste Lewis, Susan Howe, William Carlos Williams, and M. NourbeSe Philip. Examining how these poets account for the complexities of intentional perception that finds aspects of the world already rendered discursively significant, this project considers racialized perception, mediated ethical encounter, and the form and function of captions in poetry that struggles with a desire to record, even as it upends the possibility of language functioning as a receptacle and container of experience.