"What is Poetry in the Theater of Biopolitics?"

Sun examines how J. S. Mill develops in his aesthetic writings a theatrical rhetoric of poetic citizenship that challenges the bio-political theatricality of Benthamite panopticism. Mill derives his definition of poetry, which involves at its core a dissociation between the visible and the audible, from the Wordsworthian figuration of nature as the site of a disjunction between sense and sense-perception. Poetry, for Mill, serves as the medium of a voice that circulates beyond the regulatory gaze of panopticism to address the political subject as helpless, inactive overhearer rather than as bio-political actor-spectator.