Eric Keenaghan

Associate Professor & Affiliate Faculty with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Ph.D. Temple University

Poetry Studies, Modernist Studies, Political Theory, Queer and Gender Theory

Humanities 343

Eric Keenaghan has focused his research on the queer redefinition of politics, individualism, and eroticism in modernist and cold war poetries of the United States, Cuba, and Spain. He is the author of Queering Cold War Poetry: Ethics of Vulnerability in Cuba and the United States (Ohio State University Press, 2009). His articles, poetics essays, and review essays have appeared in JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory, jacket2, Journal of Modern Literaturemodernism/modernity, Contemporary Literature, The Translator, Translation Studies, Wallace Stevens Journal, Barzakh, GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and postmodern culture. He has written entries on "gay poetry" and "queer poetry" for the newest edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th edition (Princeton UP, 2012); and he is contributing essays on LGBTQ poetry and poetics for The Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature (Cambridge UP, 2014) and The Cambridge Companion to Gay and Lesbian American Literature (Cambridge UP, forthcoming Summer 2015). He is also a contributing author to several critical collections, including: Ronald Johnson: Life and Works (National Poetry Foundation, 2008); Queer Exoticism (Cambridge Scholars, 2010); The Other Emerson (Minnesota, 2010); [RE:]Working the Ground: Essays on the Late Writings of Robert Duncan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). His original poetry has appeared in the little magazines and e-zines jacket2, EOAGH, BarzakhTool: A Magazine, Io Donna (Italy), The Ixnay ReaderThe Portable Boog Reader, as well as in the anthology In/Filtration: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Innovative Poetics (Station Hill of Barrytown, forthcoming Summer 2015).

Currently, he is writing a new critical book titled Life, Love, and War: Anarchism and Twentieth-Century American Poetry. The archives of three unaligned Leftist American poets and poet-activists—Muriel Rukeyser, Kenneth Patchen, and Robert Duncan—reveal clues about how poetic forms and conceptual vocabularies between 1936 and 1975 (the Spanish Civil War through Vietnam) tested the boundary between literature and politics. These poets' experimentation with form and subject matter can inform and help shift contemporary ideas about individualism and collectivism, as well as about art’s social role and political life. Similar ideas about the relationship between form and politics inform Professor Keenaghan's own in-progress creative work, including two collections of poetry (Love Letters to My Husband and Palace Songs), and his ongoing speculative lyrical essay series Études, which explores the experience of "reading" texts, art, and activist discourse that have influenced his own ideas about the intersections and disjunctions of art and political life.

Professor Keenaghan teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on modernist poetry and fiction, cold war and contemporary poetry, literature of the Left and new social movements, queer and gender studies, political philosophy, and literary theory.

Click here for a complete vita.

Click here for an Étude on Rachel Blau DuPlessis' Drafts (published in jacket2).

Click here for selections from Love Letters to My Husband (original poems, published in Barzakh). 

Click here for an interview on Emerson and commonality (recorded for Against the Grain, broadcast on KPFA and WBAI).