War and Peace: Whitman’s Civil War Writings
Sapienza University of Rome
Friday, 12 June and Saturday, 13 June 2020
Whitman’s Civil War writings are vast and various—from the poetry he collected in Drum-Taps (1865) to his prose recollections of the war in Memoranda During the War (1875-76)—and they range from early enthusiastic support for the war effort to a much more tempered examination of the war’s “convulsions” and trauma that came as a result of his work in the Civil War hospitals. This symposium invites papers that deal with Whitman’s war writings in fresh and original ways. Is his writing during the 1861-1865 period a literature of war or a literature of peace? What new insights do the recent fields of trauma theory and disability studies offer to us for reading his hospital writings? How did Whitman’s experiences in the war and memories of his hospital work affect and alter his post-Civil War writing? How does his Civil War poetry relate to other poetry written during the war (including Melville’s)? What were Whitman’s attitudes toward the Confederacy and Confederate soldiers? Where do the issues of slavery and emancipation appear in these writings? We welcome papers that deal with these and other questions that emerge from a re-examination of Whitman’s writing during the Civil War.
This symposium invites scholars and artists from all fields to contribute. As part of the symposium, a student research poster session for attending students on any topic dealing with Whitman is planned.
One-page abstracts of paper proposals should be sent electronically, no later than
March 1, 2020, to all four symposium organizers:
Stephanie M. Blalock: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Tuggle: email@example.com
Kenneth M. Price: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Sattler: email@example.com