Andrew McEwan

Thesis: Writing “Inkorrect thots”: Resistance to Mental Ableism in the Avant-Garde Poetry of Claude Gauvreau, Hannah Weiner and bill bissett

Abstract: This interdisciplinary thesis will argue that the avant-garde poetics of Claude Gauvreau (1925-1971), Hannah Weiner (1928-1977), and bill bissett (b. 1939) forms a nexus of avant-garde influenced poetry that employs linguistic innovation and performance to resist mental ableism, and creates new social relations from non-normative mental subject positions. They do so, I contend, through an avant-garde life-writing in poetry and performance that both describes and creates immersive experiences of personal experiences and perceptions, resists the language of mental ableism, and gestures to the ways that linguistic innovation in poetry may centre traditionally stigmatized subject positions. These poet’s shared experiences critical speculation and stigmatization, as well as their poetics of linguistic rupture and performative embodiment resist, speak back to, and reframe ableist language. To argue this, my thesis will bring together theories of avant-gardism, theories of mental disability, and the biopolitical analyses of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben.

Keywords: Poetry, Poetics, Canadian Poetry, American Poetry, Québécois Poetry, Postmodernism, Avant-Garde, Foucault, Mental Disability, Disability Studies

Supervisor: Dr. Gregory Betts

 Find information on my current work on my Academia page.

You can also follow the links below to my creative work.

Conditional. Saskatoon: JackPine, 2014.

Repeater. Toronto: BookThug, 2012. (Finalist for the 2013 Gerald Lampert Award)

Input/Output. Toronto: JackPine, 2010