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Western University

African American Studies

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Dirty Modernism: Ecological Objects In American Poetry, Michael D. Sloane Dec 2014

Dirty Modernism: Ecological Objects In American Poetry, Michael D. Sloane

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This dissertation examines how early-to-mid twentieth century American poetry is preoccupied with objects that unsettle the divide between nature and culture. Given the entanglement of these two domains, I argue that American modernism is “dirty.” This designation leads me to sketch what I call “dirty modernism,” which includes the registers of waste, energy, animality, raciality, and the sensual. Reading these registers, I turn to what I call “ecological objects,” or representations of how nature and culture come together, which includes trash, natural resources, inanimals, and tools. Through an ecocritical mode of analysis, I introduce dirty modernism with the Baroness Elsa ...