“The American Literature Association is sponsoring a symposium on ‘The City and American Literature’ in New Orleans on September 10-12, 2015.”

Keynote Speaker: Ed Folsom, University of Iowa

ALA symposia provide opportunities for scholars to meet in pleasant settings, present papers, and share ideas and resources. The September 2015 symposium will focus on representations of the city in American literature. We welcome proposals for individual papers, complete panels, and roundtable discussions on any aspect of this important subject. Thematic possibilities include (but are by no means limited to): City on a Hill, the ideal city, the city as nightmare, the architecture of the city, the racial city, the city in science fiction, the city of crime fiction, the gendered city, the sexualized city, the city and economics, the city and reform, suburbia and the city, urbanization, alienation, community, the urban landscape, etc.

Hotel Monteleone
214 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130-2201

Hotel Rate: Special rate of $175 (plus tax) per night for a single or double room.

Conference Fee: $150 (Includes two lunches and three receptions)

Conference Director: Leslie Petty, Rhodes College

Please email all proposals to Leslie Petty
before June 30, 2015

Further information is available on the symposium website:

Call for Papers

American Literature Association

May 21-24, 2015, Boston, Massachusetts
Two Whitman Panels

1. Panel on Whitman and Social Theory

Leaves of Grass has long been a literary touchstone for ideas about nineteenth-century social formations of gender, sexuality, race, and class. Lately, though, Walt Whitman seems to be less a poet of social experience than a full-blown theorist of sociological issues like embodiment, socialization, object relations, crowds, and culture. This session seeks papers that examine Whitman’s studies and interpretations of social phenomena, and trace the subsequent uses of his work as a theoretical resource to comprehend modern social problems.

We are particularly interested in papers that (1) situate Whitman’s work in relation to the Social Science reform movements of the nineteenth century; (2) address Whitman’s engagement (direct or tacit) with contemporaneous social theorists, including Carlyle, Mill, Hegel, Fourier, Comte, Marx, Spencer, and others; (3) reflect on Whitman’s afterlives in social theory, how philosophers have applied his work as a conceptual model for theory; these might range from Whitman’s socialist disciples to Occupy Wall Street; Pragmatists to Neo-pragmatists, sexologists to queer theorists, etc.; or (4) place Whitman in conversation with contemporary social theory, around, for example, questions of human ecology and urban environments, biopolitics and affective labor, social relations in light of actor-network-theory, and so forth.

Please send one-page abstracts electronically no later than January 5, 2015 to Tim Robbins (timothy-robbins@uiowa.edu) and Ed Folsom (ed-folsom@uiowa.edu).

2. Panel on Whitman and the Civil War

For the sesquicentennial of the publication of Drum-Taps, the Whitman Studies Association is sponsoring a panel on this vital book. Papers are invited on any aspect of Drum-Taps, including readings of particular poems, readings that place Whitman’s book in the context of Civil War poetry generally, comparative readings to Melville’s Battle-Pieces, studies of the composition and publication of Drum-Taps, and studies of Whitman’s later attempts to merge the book with Leaves of Grass. Please send one-page abstracts electronically no later than January 5, 2015, to Ed Folsom (ed-folsom@uiowa.edu).

The Eighth Annual International Whitman Week

Seminar and Symposium
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
Munich, Germany
July 27 - August 1, 2015

Invitation for Applications to the 8th 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 8th 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), Northwestern University, USA (2013), and Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Germany (2014). The 2015 events will be held at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.

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 2015 will be:

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);

Eric Athenot: Professor of American Literature and Translation studies at the Université Paris-Est Créteil (Upec), France. He has carried out the first French translation of the 1855 Leaves of Grass, and he will publish a translation of Whitman's An American Primer and Collect in 2015. He is the author of numerous articles on Whitman and the book Walt Whitman, poète-cosmos. He has taught and given lectures on Whitman all over the world and is one of the founders of the Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association.

Taylor Hagood: Associate Professor of American Literature at Florida Atlantic University; author of “Hair, Feet, Body, and Connectedness in 'Song of Myself'” (Walt Whitman Quarterly Review), “‘Nobody Knows but Me’: Jimmie Rodgers and the Body Politic” (Walking the Line: Country Lyricists and American Culture, ed. Thomas Alan Holmes and Roxanne Harde), and multiple publications on the literature and culture of the US South, African American literature, and the writing of William Faulkner.

Kerstin Schmidt: Professor of English and Chair of American Literature at the Catholic University of Eichstaett, Germany; her second book ms. on “Negative Space and the Making of Modern America: Concepts of Space in American Literature, Architecture, and Photography” presents an in-depth reading of concepts of space and place in Whitman's writing; other areas of expertise are modern/postmodern American drama and theater, ethnic literatures in the US and Canada; race and diaspora studies, media theory (esp. radio), and visual culture studies (esp. photography).


International students will live together at no charge with LMU 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 and the Poetry of War.” 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 by e-mail to the LMU organizers, Thoren Opitz (thoren.opitz@gmail.com), and Sascha Pöhlmann (poehlmann@lmu.de), by February 15, 2015. If you have any questions about International Whitman Week 2015, do not hesitate to send the organizers an e-mail any time.

The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association is Pleased to Announce

An Open Call for Papers: Whitman and War Poetry

The Eighth Annual International Walt Whitman Symposium

To be held at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, on August 1, 2015.

This year’s International Whitman Symposium takes place on the Sesquicentennial of the publication of Whitman’s Drum-Taps and Sequel to Drum-Taps, his poems about the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination. The symposium also takes place 150 years after the end of America’s Civil War. Since the U.S. Civil War ended, there have been over 200 new civil wars around the world, and at least twenty are still ongoing.

We invite papers for this symposium that consider the nature of Whitman’s achievement in Drum-Taps and Sequel to Drum-Taps; that examine his war poems in relation to his prose (including his Civil War journalism and his Memoranda During the War); that examine the ways that writers (and other artists) from Whitman’s time to the present have called upon Drum-Taps to help them understand and respond to new civil wars; and that examine Whitman’s impact on war poets of the late-nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Papers should be no more than 25 minutes in duration.

One-page abstracts of paper proposals should be sent electronically, no later than November 30, 2014, to all four symposium organizers:

Stephanie M. Blalock stephanie-blalock@uiowa.edu
Christine Gerhardt christine.gerhardt@uni-bamberg.de
Sascha Pöhlmann poehlmann@lmu.de
Kenneth M. Price kprice2@unl.edu

Whitman Making Books / Books Making Whitman Available

Ed Folsom’s catalog/commentary for the Whitman Making Books / Books Making Whitman symposium and exhibition held at The University of Iowa in 2005 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.