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v2.1 Reference

Anarchists in the Academy

Machines and Free Readers in Experimental Poetry

Dani Spinosa takes up anarchism's power as a cultural and artistic ideology, rather than as a political philosophy, with a persistent emphasis on the common. She demonstrates how postanarchism offers a useful theoretical context for poetry that is not explicitly political—specifically for the contemporary experimental poem with its characteristic challenges to subjectivity, representation, authorial power, and conventional constructions of the reader-text relationship. Her case studies of sixteen texts make a bold move toward politicizing readers and imbuing literary theory with an activist praxis—a sharp hope. This is a provocative volume for those interested in contemporary poetics, experimental literatures, and the digital humanities.

Case Studies

Jim Andrews

Christian Bök

Mez Breeze

John Cage

Andy Campbell

Robert Duncan

Kenneth Goldsmith

Susan Howe

Jackson Mac Low

Erín Moure [Erin Mouré]

Harryette Mullen


Vanessa Place

Juliana Spahr

Brian Kim Stefans

W. Mark Sutherland

Darren Wershler

About the Author

Dani Spinosa holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from York University. She teaches literature in Toronto, and can be found online at


"Anarchists in the Academy is required reading for anyone in the field of contemporary and experimental poetry and the digital humanities."—Weldon Hunter

"Dani Spinosa makes compelling arguments for a post-anarchist literary theory that sheds light on politicized reading practices fostered by both innovative print-based and digital poets. Anarchists in the Academy reveals that the effort to find new ways of apprehending electronic literature, machine writing, and reader engagement is a fertile endeavour that offers rich rewards, and this book will certainly be an indispensable resource for scholars interested in the politics of reading in an ever-expanding digital culture."—Orchid Tierney, University of Toronto Quarterly, Summer 2020


"Anarchists in the Academy will provoke the poetics community and tempt us to reconsider how the mainstream of contemporary poetics has fundamentally misread some poets while overlooking others, particularly for electronic poetry. Reactions, disputes, exhortations, and fast flowing currents of productive new work are sure to follow the channel cut here by Spinosa and to redraw our understanding of radical contemporary poetics."—James Gifford, Professor of English

9781772123760 : anarchists-in-the-academy-spinosa
Paperback / softback
296 Pages
$27.99 USD

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