Class Notes 9-23

“Interview with An Empire”

  • “complex and abstract” and performance: expectations of race coded into poetry (white = “complex and abstract” where black = performance/musical)
  • What would a transformative or decontaminating process for English (or any other European language) look like?
    • purifying language?
    • is silence negation or inclusion? – silence isn’t unitary, is silence inherently communal?
    • what’s possible in a silence?
    • presence can signify loss
  • “The struggle is to reduce the gap between the experience and the expression of that experience.” or possibly to inhabit and expand the possibility of that gap signifying? like silence?
  • “Far too many of us still take language for granted” – what does she mean by that?
  • the Caribbean as a postmodernist space inherently
  • an intersection between postmodernism and postcolonialism?


  • the flow of power in the text
  • formal, syntactic, material experimentation
  • how do we read race non-reductively?

About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. Pronouns: they/them.
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