Yopie Prins Seminar: "Sapphic Stanzas: How Can We Read the Rhythm?"
Please join Poetics/history/Theory@uci for a seminar on a recent essay by Yopie Prins. Yopie Prins is the Irene Butter Collegiate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Victorian Sappho (1999) and Ladies' Greek: Victorian Translations of Tragedy (2017) and co-editor (with Virginia Jackson) of The Lyric Theory Reader (2014). She has published various articles on nineteenth-century poetry, historical prosody, comparative poetics, classical reception studies, and critical translation studies. Her current project is a book on meter and music in Victorian poetry, entitled Voice Inverse.
This seminar will focus on Prins's essay, "Sapphic Stanzas: How Can We Read the Rhythm?" (2019). This essay asks the question central to the emerging field of historical prosody: "What if literary concepts such as rhythm and meter are historically contingent and fundamentally unstable"? In addition to demonstrating the historical contingency of ideas about the Sapphic stanza, this essay's purpose is to examine how these metrical imaginaries have served to produce allegories of rhythm, and vice versa, thus undoing a distinction between rhythm and meter that has become one of the central orthodoxies of English prosody.
Please read the essay (attached) before attending this seminar so we can discuss it together. Admission is free and open to the public.