Colin Lodewick

Penn Humanities Forum Undergraduate Fellow

20172018 Forum on Afterlives

Colin Lodewick

English

CAS, 2019

Colin is an English major concentrating in Poetry & Poetics and minoring in Hispanic Studies. He is interested in an expansive definition of poetics – one that includes not just literary expression but much more. He is interested in the poetics of mourning and loss, of environmental and biological phenomena, of social behaviors and interactions. He believes in the capability of poetry to project into the future, to comprehend and articulate what would otherwise be inaccessible, and he believes this quality of poetry is especially relevant to the current period of environmental turmoil. His own writing follows these interests quite closely, and a friend once said after reading his poems that he “seems to have an obsession with light.”

Loss and Futurity in Elegies of the Anthropocene

Elegy is a genre of poetry that deals fundamentally with the question of loss. It is a genre without a fixed form, and thus serves well to encapsulate and comprehend the dynamic emotional processes behind mourning and grief. But how can elegy accommodate a loss that hasn’t yet occurred? In my project, I seek to look at how, in the current period of ecological and environmental turmoil, elegy can function not as a memorial of the past, but as a guide for potential futures.