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D. (Divya) Nadkarni MA

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Capaciteitsgroep Slavische talen en culturen

  • Spuistraat 134
  • Postbus 1641
    1000 BP Amsterdam
  • Research

    The Lyric We: A Pragmatist approach to the Politics of Poetry
    (PhD project, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, 2016-2021)

    Current understandings of the political value of poetry can be broadly seen as taking one of two possible directions: Poetry as activism, and poetry as facilitating social critique through its formal autonomy from social, ideological, and communicative structures of its present moment. Both remain exclusionary, in that, in either view, it is not so much poetry as a whole that has social relevance, but only certain poems dealing with certain issues in a certain way. Furthermore, despite the often-irreconcilable differences between the autonomist and activist positions, they cohere in one important respect: both have been conceiving poetry as a subjective thing, with the subject being either outside of politics (autonomist) or inside of politics (activist). Taking seriously, Richard Rorty’s (1989) critique of the notion that “at the deepest level of the self there is no sense of solidarity”, this project asks: how can we begin to rethink our relationship to poems towards an emphasis on intersubjectivity, solidarity, and sharing, as facilitating political community, rather than as individualist instances of expression? I propose a pragmatist approach to the politics of poetry, based primarily on John Dewey’s Art as Experience (1932). Through this approach, I argue that the crux of poetry’s politics is in facilitating complex forms of understanding and communication. Through a pragmatist approach I characterise poetic understanding as a kind of “feeling with” or “caring with”, and examine the socio-political value of this kind of understanding today.

    This project aims, ultimately, to arrive at a notion of the “we” in poetry, and argues that poetic understanding can play a critical role in enriching current understandings of community and emancipatory solidarity. For the ethical formation of communities, of solidarities, we need to understand not merely the cause which binds us, but also the variegated and differential nature of particular and personal experiences of and within it. This project makes an innovative case for the continued social necessity and relevance of poetry in today’s politically turbulent times, as a practice that helps facilitate and train the social conditions wherein forms of poetic understanding can become widely accessible.

    Supervisors: Prof. Josef Früchtl, Prof. Ellen Rutten

  • Teaching

    2019 - 2022

    Department of Literary and Cultural Analysis, BA, University of Amsterdam
    - Literary Worlds (Lecture) (Feb - Mar 2022)
    - Analysis and Interpretation 2 (Seminar) (Oct 2020 - Jan 2021)
    - Contexts and Frames (Seminar) (Apr - Jun 2020)
    - BA Thesis supervision (Thesis) (Feb - June 2020)
    - Aesthetics and Politics (Lecture) (Sep - Oct 2019)

    Academic Core, BA, Amsterdam University College
    - Academic Writing Skills (Core course) (Sep -Dec 2019)

    Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), BA, Amsterdam
    - Race, Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture (May - June 2019)

    2018 -2019

    Academic Core, BA, Amsterdam University College
    - Academic Writing Skills (Core course) (Sep - Dec 2018)


    Lecturer BA, Literary and English Studies
    Ramnarain Ruia College, University of Mumbai (Mumbai, India)
    Courses :
    - Introduction to Postcolonial literatures
    - Romantic and Victorian literature
    - British Modernism
    - Introduction to literary theory
    - Gender and Literature
    - 20th century American Literature
    - Contemporary Indian English literature

  • Publicaties


    • Nadkarni, D. (2022). I Understand You, Across the Chasm that Divides Us: Rethinking Community Through Poetry. Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis, 40, 137-142. [22].



    • Nadkarni, D. (2021). The Lyric We: A Pragmatist Approach to the Politics of Poetry. Paper presented at Aesthetic Relations, Copenhagen, Denmark.


    • Nadkarni, D. (2019). Poetic autonomy, poetic engagement: A reading of Nandini Dhar's Historians of Redundant Moments. Paper presented at Metamodernism, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2019). Poetic autonomy? Uncreative writing and new media poetry in Adorno’s legacy. Paper presented at Adorno and the Media, Karlsruhe, Germany.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2019). Reinterpreting tradition: the politics of the contemporary Indian-English "prose poem": A reading of Nandini Dhar's Historians of Redundant Moments and Vivek Narayanan's Life and Times of Mr. S. Paper presented at Prose Poetry Symposium, Leeds, United Kingdom.


    • Nadkarni, D. (2018). Moving beyond the lyric "I": impersonal effects and the architecture of digression in the poetry of Larry Levis. Paper presented at ESSE, Brno, Czech Republic.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2018). Resisting Disfiguration: Patricia Smith’s “Black, Poured Directly into the Wound” and poetry as a limit to violence. Paper presented at ASCA International Workshop 2018: Dissecting Violence, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2018). Slow time/Slow form: Architectural time-space and the poetry of Larry Levis. Paper presented at AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE (ASAP): A Symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
      , Amsterdam, Netherlands.


    • Nadkarni, D. (editor) (2020-). nether Quarterly (Journal).
    • Nadkarni, D. (editor) (2012-2018). Paperwall Media and Publishing (Publisher).


    • Nadkarni, D. (speaker) (5-10-2018). Gestures of Refusal: The politics of the Prose-Poem, Questions for Poets: An Evening with Anne Boyer, Amsterdam.


    • Thinius, A. (organiser), Nadkarni, D. (organiser), Vaid-Menon, A. (participant) & Adamczak, B. (participant) (14-5-2020). The Poetics and Politics of Sharing. There are many aspects of sharing and ways in which we can share: Affect, stories, words can be shared; experience can be shared; instagram posts can (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Nadkarni, D. (organiser), Thinius, A. (organiser) & de Vries, N. (organiser) (10-4-2019 - 12-4-2019). ASCA International Workshop 2019 "Realities and Fantasies: Relations, Transformations, Discontinuities", Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Rachmadiev, F. (organiser) & Nadkarni, D. (organiser) (4-10-2018 - 5-10-2018). Guest Lecture by Anne Boyer, No: A Poetics of Refusal & Questions for Poets An Evening With Anne Boyer (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Nadkarni, D. (participant) (13-4-2018). Panel Discussion: Art, Writing and Philosophy (DRIFT) (other).
    • Nadkarni, D. (other) (2015). Academic Editor (other).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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