A Grammar of Where?

Tonya Foster, English

A Grammar of Where? will provide a geographically referenced database, maps, and links to the works of three poets writing about, and working in, the Americas. It will draw upon a broader dissertation research project that explores how nation, home, and community are imagined and named in the works of Anglophone poets writing (and publishing) between 1945 and 2005. How is home referenced? Constructed? What maps do literary texts create and reference? A Grammar of Where? will be the visual model for this larger mapping project that will chart relations between and among personal/individual (literary) definitions of home as evidenced in late 20th century poetry and the broader social and political contexts in which those definitions are created.

As a Ph.D. candidate in the English department, Tonya Foster’s research interests demand a critical engagement with the cultural processes and products of literary and visual artists in the post-WWII-Americas. What are some of the relationships (and changes in relationships), over time, between lyric “I” and home, and between myriad homes and myriad “I'”‘s? How are changing definitions (i.e. rural to urban; town to suburb) of place, of particular locations reflected in works of poetry and in geographic representations? Are there relationships between the various kinds of maps?