The DHC is proud to announce the first phase — a collaboration to extend the valuing and study of global poetries.

Using the affordances of an open-access wiki, Dr. Kenneth Sherwood initiated the project in Summer 2021 with graduate students in ENGL 766/866 Comparative Literature Ethnopoetics. Students from a Fall class in Digital Humanities have been helping to develop the project. They have learned to create accessible, scholarly contextualization and commentary for important texts of global poetry originally collected by Alcheringa in the 1970s.

Ethnopoetics names an informal movement in poetry and scholarship dating to the late 1960s but has come more broadly to designate writing that reflects a heightened awareness of the artfulness of oral and traditional poetries and the ways in which diverse verbal arts illuminate world cultures; this writing can also reflect innovative theorizing and practices of representational practices, including transcription/translation. Coined by Jerome Rothenberg, ethnopoetics involves collaborations among poets, storytellers, singers, anthropologists, translators, linguists, and literary scholars.

Alcheringa was digitized by the Kelly Writers’ House at the University of Pennsylvania, and the content is used with permission of UPenn and the original editor, Jerome Rothenberg.

In the coming months, students working on the project will join Dr. Sherwood to talk more about what they have learned through this collaborative research, as well as next steps in the project.