American Literature Association
May 21-24, 2015
WALT WHITMAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION
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.