2013 Winner: Where Light Looks: Edward Hopper and Ekphrasis

Project Information
Where Light Looks: Edward Hopper and Ekphrasis
LTMO 190N-02/Topics in Modern Literary Studies: Poetry and Painting
Edward Hopper’s (1882-1967) iconic paintings of the early twentieth century American land and cityscapes have posed among the primary images that still form the world’s conceptualization of American life. In particular, his figural paintings of women contain strong visual indications of the male dominant society in which Hopper lived. Within the last sixty years, poets in particular have struggled with understanding the implicit gender roles portrayed by Hopper by means narrativizing his scenes. My paper compares two pairs of these short poems and one longer poem, which all engage with a variety of Hopper’s works, in conjunction with visual interpretations of these paintings themselves. Through the analyses of these poems, I argue that Hopper’s works remain in the forefront of the American identity and that the gender implications thereof are still being grappled with in attempts to portray and complicate what it means to be a woman in America.
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  • Conner Lowe (Cowell)