UBC Lectures, Seminars, and Symposia

The Poetics of Masculinity : Rereading Vladimir Mayakovsky Doak, Connor


How might masculinity be performed in verse? What is the relationship between masculinity and modernist poetic experimentation? Is there a poetics of masculinity? This talk explores these questions through the case study of the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930), who began his career as a Futurist provocateur in a yellow blouse, reinvented himself as the Soviet worker-poet par excellence in the 1920s, before becoming disillusioned and taking his own life in 1930. Dr. Doak argues that Mayakovsky used formal experimentation in his verse and drama to negotiate a position of gendered agency during a period of political and social transformation, as Russia experienced war, revolution, and the establishment of the world’s first socialist state.

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