Poetic Resonance as Affect in English Education

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

Capacious: Affect Inquiry/Making Space

Conference Location

Lancaster, PA


In this paper we consider poetic resonance—how texts come to matter across persons—as affect at work across interactions with teachers and students, curriculum content, and classroom spaces. Specifically, we are interested in resonance as "a function of attunement," wondering how we might expand this definition through our teaching in an undergraduate English methods course with pre-service teachers. Inspired by what one of our teachers remarked of song lyrics: 'they feel close, like memories", we work to engage that closeness through the distinct ways we are moved by and through our rich material and textual lives. In becoming attentive to the relational—both human and nonhuman—aspects of education, we draw on Seigworth and Gregg, who discern affect as "rising in the midst of in-between-ness: in the capacities to act and be acted upon." We seek in the study to understand how resonance shapes and resides in affects arising in the course. In particular, we explore how inviting "what undoes, what unsettles, that thing [we] cannot name, what remains resistant, far away (haunting, and ever so beautiful)," into the classroom space may enable us to incorporate more inventive and equitable teaching practices. We assert an interesting and worthwhile interconnectedness between resonance and affect that offers ways of appealing to the most humane forms of teaching.


English and Comparative Literature

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