Call for Papers: Dickinson Institute

On Friday, August 8th, 2014, the EDIS “Dickinson Institute” will be held in Amherst, Massachusetts. The topic is “Emily Dickinson and New England Writers.” Individuals doing work on Dickinson’s relationship to other writers of her region (including Whitman) should send 250-word abstracts of a paper to Elizabeth Petrino (EPetrino@fairfield.edu) and Alexandra Socarides (socaridesa@missouri.edu) by February 1, 2014. Accepted participants will be notified by Feb. 28th and will be asked to circulate completed, conference-length (8-10 page) papers to a small group by June 15th. Members will meet at the Institute with this group to discuss their work in detail. The Institute will also involve a plenary speaker and a gathering of all Institute members at its close to reflect on their work and the larger themes of the conference. The Institute is scheduled for the first day of the Emily Dickinson Annual Meeting, which all participants are welcome to attend.

The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association is pleased to announce


Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg
Bamberg, Germany
July 21 – July 26, 2014

Invitation for Applications to the 7th Transatlantic Walt Whitman Seminar

Founded in Paris in 2007, the Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association (TWWA) invites students, researchers, and Whitman enthusiasts to participate in its 7th annual Whitman Week, consisting of a Seminar for advanced students interested in Whitman and Whitman’s poetry, and a Symposium bringing together international scholars and graduate students. Previous Whitman Weeks have been held at Universität Dortmund, Germany (2008), Université Francois Rabelais, France (2009), Università di Macerata, Italy (2010), Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil (2011), Szczecin University, Poland (2012), and Northwestern University, USA (2013). The 2014 events will be held at the Otto-Friedrich-University in Bamberg, one of Germany’s most beautiful medieval and baroque towns situated in a region known for its historical architectural sights, natural beauty and rich culinary culture.

TWWA’s Mission

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass remains a landmark of modern poetry and world literature. Every year new editions of Whitman’s work are published in a variety of languages; an ever- expanding group of poets “reply” to him in their poetry; his poems are set to music and are quoted in films; he is invoked in the discussion of political and cultural issues, as well as of gender and sexuality; and he continues to be a huge presence in college and university curricula globally. In order to respond adequately to this international phenomenon, TWWA sponsors a yearly International Whitman Seminar, during which students from different countries come together for an intensive, credit-bearing Seminar taught by an international team of Whitman specialists.

Seminar Structure

In the morning classes, focusing on some of Whitman’s major poems and selections from his prose, students will have an opportunity to confront Whitman’s books, share their readings of key poems and clusters, and discuss Whitman’s attempts at a multilingual English, his cohesive representation of human relations, and his work’s international significance. In addition, there will be afternoon workshops on the reception of Whitman in various countries, as well as the translation of his poems into various languages, including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Asian languages. (The specific readings that will be the focus of the Seminar will be announced a month before the start of the Seminar.)


The team of international instructors for 2014 will be: Betsy Erkkila: Professor of American literary and cultural studies at Northwestern University; author of Walt Whitman Among the French: Poet and Myth (1980) and Whitman the Political Poet (1996); co-editor, with Jay Grossmann, of Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies (1996); editor of Walt Whitman’s Songs of Male Intimacy and Love (2011); Ed Folsom: Professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa; co-director of the online Whitman Archive; editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review; author, co-author and editor of over 20 Whitman-related books, including, most recently, Walt Whitman’s Democratic Vistas: A Facsimile of the Original Edition (2010), Re-Scripting Walt Whitman (2007) co-authored with Kenneth M. Price, Whitman Making Books / Books Making Whitman (2005), and Whitman East and West: New Contexts for Reading Walt Whitman (2002); Walter Grünzweig: Professor American Literature and Culture at the University of Dortmund, Germany; author of Constructing the German Walt Whitman (1995) and Walt Whitmann: Die deutschsprachige Rezeption als interkulturelles Phänomen (1991); contributor to, amongst others, Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies (1996), Whitman East & West: New Contexts for Reading Walt Whitman (2002), and A Companion to Walt Whitman (2009); Peter J. L. Riley: Early career fellow in American Literature at the University of Oxford, UK; author of “Leaves of Grass and Real Estate,” published in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review; co-founder and committee member of the British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists; currently working on the book project Moonlighting Modernity: American Poets at Work.


International students will live together at no charge with Bamberg University students, thus creating opportunities for meaningful intercultural dialogue.


Students are expected to attend and invited to take part in the Symposium, held immediately following the Seminar, and featuring scholarly papers by Whitman scholars and graduate students from various countries. A separate paper proposal must be submitted in order to participate in the Symposium. This year’s Symposium theme is “Whitman Across Genres.” The Call for Papers appears below.

Applications for the Seminar

Applications for the seminar should include a curriculum vitae, a one-page statement of interest, and a short letter of support from an instructor who knows the applicant well. All of these materials, including the letter of recommendation, should be submitted electronically to the University of Bamberg Chair of the Seminar, Professor Christine Gerhardt at twwa2014@uni-bamberg.de by February 15, 2014.

The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association is Pleased to Announce

An Open Call for Papers: Whitman Across Genres


To be held at Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany, July 25 and 26, 2014

TWWA welcomes papers that explore Whitman’s accomplishments in genres other than poetry - Whitman as a journalist or fiction writer or letter writer or keeper of notebooks or essayist. In particular, we are looking for papers discussing the interrelations of his short fiction, novel, journalism, essays, private jottings, correspondence, etc., including interrelations between this body of writing and his poetry. We are also looking for presentations that investigate Whitman across all types of adaptations and reworkings in the work of later writers and artists who have talked back to Whitman: poets and translators, novelists that build upon Whitman’s work, filmmakers who quote Whitman (or even portray him), musicians who set his work to music or respond to him in their own compositions. Papers should be no more than 25 minutes in duration.

One-page abstracts should be sent electronically, no later than February 15, 2014, to all four Symposium Organizers:

Eric Athenot eric.athenot@orange.fr
Stephanie Blalock stephanie-blalock@uiowa.edu
Christine Gerhardt christine.gerhardt@uni-bamberg.de
Kenneth M. Price kprice2@unl.edu

Whitman at the American Literature Association 2014: Call for Papers

Two Whitman sessions are planned for the American Literature Association annual meeting to be held May 22-25, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Details of the conference can be found at the American Literature Association website:

Session One: "I Want Something To Do": Alcott, Whitman, and Nursing in the Nation's Capital (Jointly sponsored by the Louisa May Alcott Society and Walt Whitman Studies Association)

This session will examine the wartime experiences of two author-nurses whose writings about their care for the wounded in Washington, DC during the Civil War proved central to Americans' knowledge of and attitudes toward the nursing profession at this time. In Alcott's case, Nurse Tribulation Periwinkle blends humor with pathos as the grim horrors of caring for the patients in the Union hospital in Georgetown counter her initially patriotic journey to Washington to take up her post. Likewise the bold march of Whitman's "Beat! Beat! Drums!" has given way by the war's weary end to the grief and sorrow expressed in poems such as "The Wound-Dresser" and "Spirit Whose Work Is Done." We seek papers that examine one or both of these authors' nursing experiences and writings, particularly in relation to their physical presence in Washington's disease-ridden, ill-equipped hospitals. Positioning the nurse as an intermediary between battlefield and home, how do Alcott and Whitman represent suffering and care? What role did their war experiences play in the reshaping of their attitudes toward death or their views about the South? How did the Civil War reshape their careers and writing styles (in comparable ways)? Following their nursing experiences, what has Washington, DC come to signify or represent in their writings? What are the connections between their nursing experiences and their conscious or unconscious expressions of sexual desire, eroticism, and love? To what extent do their Civil War writings challenge contemporary gender conventions, and how were they shaped by these conventions? Send brief abstracts by January 15, 2014, to Sandy Petrulionis at shp2@psu.edu and to Ed Folsom at ed-folsom@uiowa.edu.

Session Two: Late Whitman, Whitman's Lateness (Sponsored by the Walt Whitman Studies Association)

Though Whitman's late work has received periodic attention, it has largely been neglected in the contexts of both criticism and biography. This panel seeks papers addressing any aspect of Whitman's post-Reconstruction work. We are particularly interested in papers that: (1) address the work appearing in the "Annexes" to Leaves of Grass; (2) situate Whitman's late work more fully in relation to cultural histories of age and aging; (3) view Whitman's late work in relation to theoretical conceptions of authorial late style, past or present; (4) trace the continued presence of a distinctly late Whitman in subsequent literary culture; or (5) consider reasons for the relative neglect of Whitman's late work.

Please send one-page abstracts electronically no later than January 15, 2014 to Anton Vander Zee (vanderzeeal@cofc.edu)



Jim Hermanson, on his blog "The Red Wheelbarrow," offers an extended entry on the history of the controversy surrounding the recording of Whitman reading four lines of his poem “America.” The recording resurfaced in 1992, during the centennial of Whitman’s death. The wax cylinder recording had originally been played on a 1951 NBC radio program hosted by Leon Pearson, called “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” on a special episode focusing on the voices of poets. Ed Folsom wrote about the recording in WWQR in spring 1992, and the recording is available on the Walt Whitman Archive. Hermanson offers a full and balanced account of the history of the recording and the evidence for its authenticity or lack thereof.

The Walt Whitman Birthplace Needs Your Support!

The Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington, Long Island is a New York Historic Site dedicated to educating the public on Whitman’s life and times and honoring his contribution to America’s cultural heritage. Visitors may tour the house in which Whitman spent his first four years, visit the Interpretive Center, and take part in numerous events and activities that celebrate Whitman’s literary legacy.

As a small non-profit organization, the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is currently feeling the impact of these challenging economic times. In spite of stringent efforts to cut costs and the efforts to initiate new fundraising events, WWBA is on the edge of its ability to meet expenses. Current projections indicate that sometime in the spring of 2009, the organization may be unable to continue their present operation. State and local grand cutbacks have resulted in a $55,000 shortfall in its $200,000 budget.

Public and private support is essential in keeping the Birthplace open and its programs active. You can help in several ways: by becoming a Member of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, making a donation (in-kind goods and services are gratefully accepted), or simply by visiting and inviting others to do the same. Please go to our website to learn more about all of these options: www.waltwhitman.org.

The Transatlantic Whitman Association

In February 2007, fifteen scholars from Europe, the United States, and South America met in Paris, France, at Denis Diderot University (Paris 7) to organize The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association. The group planned future conferences, seminars, and translation activities, and approved a charter for the organization, which will be headquartered at Tours University, academic home of Éric Athenot, who initiated the meeting. Anyone interested in more information about the Association or anyone wishing to join should contact Athenot by e-mail at eric.athenot@wanadoo.fr.

The Charter of The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association

At the start of the twentieth century, a group of eminent Europeans sought “to found in Europe an organization . . . [to] assemble all the European admirers of [Walt Whitman] and propagate his works” (Letter from Léon Bazalgette to Johannes Schlaf, 1907). A century later, The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association believes that Whitman remains a crucial figure for remembering and re-imagining the literary, critical, and political roles that poetry plays in the world. The Association explores and fosters the artistic, democratic, and intercultural vision of Walt Whitman in the context of the need for improved European and transatlantic cooperation.

The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association seeks to:

  • promote the cultural and literary presence of Walt Whitman, re-reading and re-writing him for the current age;
  • understand Whitman’s significance in Europe’s literary, political, and cultural heritage, as well as Europe’s influence on Whitman’s life and writings;
  • promote the teaching of Whitman’s works, especially in their intercultural contexts;
  • create a network of collaboration and exchange among teachers and students of Whitman, both within Europe and across the Atlantic;
  • cooperate with, and support, the work of The Walt Whitman Archive and of The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review in making Whitman’s writings, as well as writings about them, available to a broadening international audience;
  • endorse and enable the work of Whitman’s translators;
  • explore and foster the intersections between Whitman’s writings and other forms of cultural, social, and political expression.

February, 2007
Paris, France Éric Athenot (Tours University), Marina Camboni (University of Macerata), Mario Corona (University of Bergamo), Jeanne Cortiel (Dortmund University), Sami El Hage (Paris IV), Betsy Erkkila (NorthwesternUniversity), Ed Folsom (The University of Iowa), Christine Gerhardt (Dortmund University), Jay Grossman (Northwestern University), Walter Gruenzweig (Dortmund University), Merel Leeman (Amsterdam), Kenneth M. Price (University of Nebraska), Marta Skwara (Szczecin University), Maria Clara Paro (University of São Paulo)

Whitman Making Books / Books Making Whitman Available

Ed Folsom’s catalog/commentary for the Whitman Making Books / Books Making Whitman symposium and exhibition held this past fall at The University of Iowa is now available for purchase from WWQR. The book is 80 pages, with over a hundred full-color illustrations of Whitman’s books. Folsom’s commentary explores Whitman as a bookmaker, as someone fully invested in the creation of his books. Tracing Whitman’s career as a printer and bookmaker from his early years in New York to his final years in Camden, New Jersey, Folsom has created what Joel Myerson in a review has described as “much more that the record of an exhibition—it is a biography of Whitman that will stand the test of time.” “Reversing [the] usual perspective,” writes Myerson, “Folsom focuses on Whitman’s print career to tell us about his life, both internal and external,” and, “in so doing, he overturns many critical assumptions about Whitman’s writings.” The book was published by The University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and a limited number of copies are available for $15 (includes shipping). Checks should be made out to “WWQR” and sent to: Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 308 EPB, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1492.