“Walt Whitman and Women” Panel at American Literature Association, 2020

The Whitman Studies Association is sponsoring a roundtable on “Whitman and Women” at next year’s American Literature Association annual conference in San Diego, California, May 21-24, 2020. We welcome proposals for the roundtable panel.

Whitman famously declared he was “the poet of the woman the same as the man,” and this roundtable seeks to confront both this statement and womanhood itself in a broadly conceived and inclusive way. The roundtable invites but is not restricted to papers that discuss: (1) Whitman’s ideas about and representations of women’s bodies, including and moving beyond motherhood and sex work; (2) Whitman’s ideas about and representations of women’s desire and sexuality; (3) Whitman’s identifications with women, including trans identification; (4) Whitman, women, and violence or coercion, including sexual violence/coercion; (5) Whitman’s treatment of women and race, including indigenous women and enslaved women; (6) Whitman and women’s work/labor; (7) Whitman and women intellectuals and writers; (8) Whitman’s engagement with contemporary women’s issues in political and social life; (9) Whitman’s influence on and Whitman as influenced by specific women, including contemporary activists, artists, and social figures, family members, disciples, and “Poets to Come.”

Please send one-page-maximum abstracts electronically no later than January 10, 2020, to roundtable chairs Catherine Waitinas (cwaitina@calpoly.edu) and Maire Mullins (mairemullins@pepperdine.edu).

For more information on the American Literature Association conference, see the ALA website: americanliteratureassociation.org/.

“How to Teach Walt Whitman in the 21st Century” Roundtable

At the 51st annual Northeast Modern Language Association Convention to be held March 5-8, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Marriott Copley Place, there will be a roundtable discussion on teaching Whitman in the twenty-first century. Proposals are invited to participate in the roundtable, organized by Professor Annette M. Magid, State University of New York, Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY ((magida@ecc.edu).

Over two hundred years after his birth, Whitman still has influence in the poetry world. Whitman had a profound effect on American writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau as well as international writers such as Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. The focus of this roundtable is on Whitman’s influence and his positivism. What are the most effective ways to present the wisdom of Whitman to students? Why should professors continue to teach poets such as Whitman?

Proposals must be submitted through the NeMLA website: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/17892 . Deadline for submission is September 30, 2019.

2019: The Bicentennial of Whitman’s Birth: Links to Bicentennial Conferences and Events

Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy: Exploring the Legacy and Relevance of America’s “Poet of Democracy” for Us Today (Sponsored by University of Pennsylvania Libraries) http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/whitmanat200/

Whitman 2019 Consortium: East Coast collective of organizations and institutions planning events in celebration of Whitman’s 200th birthday. http://waltwhitmaninitiative.org/whitman-2019-consortium/

Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association International Whitman Week 2019, Seminar and Symposium: New York City: http://waltwhitmaninitiative.org/international-whitman-week-2019/

Whitman@200: Bicentennial Birthday Celebration, Walt Whitman Birthplace, Huntington, Long Island, New York: https://ir.uiowa.edu/wwqr/journalannounce.html

Speaking in Tongues: Celebrating Walt Whitman in Translation: Université Paris Est Créteil: https://www.fabula.org/actualites/speaking-in-tongues-wzlt-whitman-in-translation_84097.php

War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials by Binh Danh & Robert Schultz

A book forthcoming this May, War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials, looks at the U.S. Civil War and our current controversy over war memorials through the humane example of Whitman’s life and art, and it does so in an art book that combines photography, poems, and comment with a generous selection of Whitman’s poetry and prose. The book, to be published by the Taubman Museum of Art, is based upon the innovative War Memoranda art exhibition by artist Binh Danh and poet Robert Schultz. The book includes 51 photographs, original poems, and essays by poets David Lehman and Stanley Plumly and by scholars Barbara Bair (Library of Congress) and Molly Rogers (author of Delia’s Tears).

In War Memoranda, Binh Danh’s photographs of Civil War memorial sites, using the nineteenth-century cyanotype process, evoke at once the past and present, and Schultz’s chlorophyll prints offer portraits of Whitman and Civil War soldiers embodied in the flesh of leaves, physically enacting the central trope of Leaves of Grass—especially when the leaf used has been plucked from a “witness tree” known to have stood on a battlefield during the war. Civil War memorials have become flash points in our current dividedness, and Schultz’s essay “On Memorials” addresses the controversy. For Whitman “the land entire” was the most fitting memorial to the war dead, “South or North, ours all”: ". . . [T]he land entire [is] saturated, perfumed with their impalpable ashes’ exhalation in Nature’s chemistry distill’d, and shall be so forever, in every future grain of wheat and ear of corn, and every flower that grows, and every breath we draw . . .."

War Memoranda will be printed in a fine art edition limited to 500 copies and is available for pre-order through a Kickstarter campaign that will end April 2, 2019. Signed copies and original artworks by Danh and Schultz are available as premiums. For more information use the search link href="http://kck.st/2DvOExn" or go to Kickstarter.com and search “War Memoranda.”

Project to save Walt Whitman's Ryerson Street house

The Walt Whitman Initiative (a group of New-York-area Whitman teachers, scholars, and writers), along with a team of historic preservationists (including Andrew Dolkart and Simeon Bankoff), lawyers (including Brad Vogel, Executive Director of the New York Preservation Archive Project), and the NYC LGBTQ Historic Sites Project, have formed a "Coalition to Save Walt Whitman's House" in an effort to draw attention to Whitman's historical home at 99 Ryerson Street, Brooklyn, and its need for protection and preservation.

Please help support their efforts to protect 99 Ryerson Street, Brooklyn—the only one of Whitman's over 30 homes in New York City that is still standing, and the house in which he completed Leaves of Grass. It is the birthplace of American poetry, and its humble appearance is both a shock and a lesson to anyone who thinks of literary culture as elitist.

Sign your name to the petition to designate the site a landmark and/or write directly to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (RFE@lpc.nyc.gov). Contact Karen Karbiener of New York University (kk55@nyu.edu) for other ways to help in this effort.

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.