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Penn Libraries Events & Exhibitions
WHITMAN at 200

Looking Back, Looking Forward

A Symposium
March 29-30, 2019

Barbara Henry woodcut of Walt Whitman
This symposium will explore Walt Whitman, his work and his life, from various perspectives. The keynote, "Whitman Getting Old," will be given by Ed Folsom (Iowa), co-director of the Whitman Archive and editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and the Whitman Series for the University of Iowa Press.

Participants include Nancy Bentley (UPenn), Max Cavitch (UPenn), Matt Cohen (UNebraska, Lincoln), Jay Grossman (Northwestern), Tyler Hoffman (Rutgers), Virginia Jackson (UCalifornia, Irvine), Meredith McGill (Rutgers), Don James McLaughlin (UTulsa), Peter Stallybrass (UPenn), Michael Warner (Yale), Edward Whitley (Lehigh), and Michael Winship (UTexas, Austin).

The symposium will begin on Friday, March 29, at 4 pm, with "Printing Whitman at the Common Press, Penn's Letterpress Studio," followed by the welcome and keynote at 5:30 pm, and a reception and pop-up exhibition from Penn's Whitman Collection at 6:30 pm.

Saturday's symposium will run from 9:30 am (coffee and light breakfast) to 6 pm, with four speaker sessions, a viewing of the pop-up exhibition, a student panel, and final reflections on "Late Whitman and Early Afterlife: The Good Gray Poet," moderated by Peter Stallybrass.

Please register to attend the symposium here.


This symposium is part of Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy a region-wide initiative to explore the impact and importance of Walt Whitman in 2019, his bicentennial year. Institution and organizations in Philadelphia and Camden are partnering to present a diverse variety of exhibitions and events on poetry and music, plastic arts, the environment, printing and publishing, and contemporary social, political, and cultural issues. To learn more about Whitman at 200 and to view the calendar of events, go to: whitmanat200.org

Major support for Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy artistic commissions has been provided to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, sixth floor
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance)