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The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association is pleased to announce

The Eleventh Annual International Whitman Week Seminar and Symposium

TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany

28 May – 3 June, 2018



 Invitation for Applications to the 11th 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 11th annual Whitman Week, consisting of a Seminar for students interested in Whitman and Whitman’s poetry, and a Symposium bringing together international scholars and graduate students. The Whit­man Weeks started at TU Dortmund University, Germany (2008), and continued at Univer­sité François-Rabelais, Tours, France (2009), Università degli Studi di Macerata, Italy (2010), Univer­sidade Estadual Paulista, Araquara, Brazil (2011), Szczecin University, Poland (2012), North­western University, Chicago, USA (2013), Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Germany (2014), Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany (2015), University of Exeter, Eng­land (2016) and Université Paris-Est, Créteil, France (2017). Ten years after its founding, the Whitman Week is returning to TU Dortmund. To reflect the past ten years, a special invita­tion is extended to previous participants in the program.


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 course 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 cohesive representation of human relations and his work’s international significance. Afternoon translation workshops will focus on the reception of Whitman in various countries, as well as the translation of his poems into different languages.



The team of international instructors of this year’s seminar were all formerly connected with TU Dortmund University, either as assistant professors (Jeanne Cortiel and Christine Gerhardt) or as Fulbright Professors (Betsy Erkkila and Ed Folsom). Individuals interested in conducting a translation workshop are invited to contact the organizers.


Jeanne Cortiel, Professor of American Studies at Universität Bayreuth; author of Demand My Writ­ing: Joanna Russ/Feminism/Science Fiction (1999), Passion für das Unmögliche: Befrei­ung als Narra­tiv in der amerikanischen feministischen Theologie (2001), and With a Bar­barous Din: Race and Eth­nic Encounter in Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Litera­ture (2016); co-editor of Religion in the Unit­ed States (2011) and Sounds of the Future: Musical and Sonic Anticipation in American Popular Culture (2016).

Jeanne Cortiel was a Dortmund American Studies faculty member from 1994 until 2008.


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). She is currently completing The Whitman Revolution: Why Poetry Matters.

Betsy Erkkila was a Fulbright Professor at Dortmund American Studies in 2010.


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).

Ed Folsom was a Fulbright Professor at Dortmund American Studies in 1996.


Christine Gerhardt, Professor of American Studies at Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg; author of A Place for Humility: Whitman, Dickinson, and the Natural World (2014) and Rituale des Scheiterns: Die Reconstruction-Periode im US-amerikanischen Roman [Rituals of Failure: The Reconstruction Period in American Fiction] (2003); editor of The American Novel of the Nineteenth Century (2017); and co-editor of Environmental Imaginaries on the Move: Nature and Mobility in American Literature and Culture (2016) and Religion in the United States (2011).

Christine Gerhardt was a Dortmund American Studies faculty member from 1994 until 2008.



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


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 Dortmund organizers, Walter Grünzweig (walter.gruenzweig@udo.edu), and Laura Kost (laura.kost@udo.edu) by February 1, 2018. If you have any questions about the International Whitman Week 2018, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at any time.



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 “Poets That Came: Walt Whitman’s Creative Reception from Paper to Web.”

Participants at Whitman Week 2008 in Dortmund.


Call for Papers

The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association is pleased to announce an open call for papers

Poets That Came: Walt Whitman’s Creative Reception from Paper to Web

TU Dortmund University

Friday, 1 June and Saturday, 2 June 2018


In his poem “Poets to come,” Walt Whitman addresses “orators, singers and musicians to come” to “arouse—for you must justify me—you must answer.” Throughout the world and throughout the arts, creative minds have enthusiastically answered Whitman’s call. Although anthologies such as Ed Folsom’s and Jim Perlman’s Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song have documented the pervasiveness of Whitman’s reception in American poetry and many studies exist for other genres and arts as well as other countries, no single symposium has as yet been devoted to the wide international creative reception of Whitman’s works—from poetry and prose, translation, painting and music, to film, advertising and the World Wide Web, in the U.S. as well as countries and languages in all parts of the world.


This symposium invites scholars and artists from all fields to contribute to this inter-arts and international phenomenon. 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 February 1, 2018, to all four symposium organizers:


Stephanie M. Blalock: stephanie-blalock@uiowa.edu

Wendy Katz: wkatz2@unl.edu

Kenneth M. Price: kprice2@unl.edu

Julia Sattler: julia.sattler@udo.edu