SURF

Ciara Williams

San Francisco Beat and Spoken Word Movements: Beating the American Bandwagon Mentality

The written word has been used to comment on cultural trends and mindsets for centuries. My research focuses on the Beat and modern spoken word movements, seeing how the poets during those times commented on American bandwagon mentality. The Beat poets focused primarily on the post-World War II stoicism that was permeating through the American culture. The modern spoken word poets write about the modern hysteria to join multiple causes that span from global warming to ending world hunger. Both poetry movements seem to have qualms with how people do not have a clear and individual reason for why they choose to follow these trends. The goal of my research is to compare and contrast the social and historical issues these poetry movements explore to see how their commentaries are similar, explaining how past verse writers continue to influence modern poetics.

Message to Sponsor

This fellowship opportunity is important to me because I have wanted to do a research project about the similarities and differences between the Beat and spoken word movements since I was introduced to them in my junior year of high school. I saw how these two great movements have made a monumental impression on American culture and I wanted to explore exactly how that can happen through simply writing and performing words. This fellowship gives me the chance to research something that I am very passionate about and would like to share with others in the future.
  • Major: English
  • Mentor: Eric Falci, English