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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2008

E 379N • Walt Whitman and His World

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35540 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 204

Course Description

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) witnessed and wrote about life and culture in the 19th-century United States, claiming that "The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem." In this course, we will focus on Whitman's own writing, both poetry and prose, but also read selectively from his contemporaries, to explore the literary culture of his time.

Grading Policy

Class attendance and participation 20%
Two writing exercises 25% each
Final paper 30%

As a substantial writing class, particular attention will be paid to students' ability to write analytical and critical essays. In assigning grades to the writing exercises and final paper, strength of argument and analysis will be emphasized, though clarity, spelling, and grammatical correctness will also be taken into account.

At the end of the semester, the class will meet for a few weeks in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center to examine and work with original manuscripts and editions of by Walt Whitman.

Class attendance is required of all students: students missing three or more classes without proper advance excuse may have their final grade lowered.


Walt Whitman, Poetry and Prose (New York: Library of America, 1996) and other materials that will be available on eReserves

Recommended: Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass and Other Writings, rev. ed. (New York: Norton, 2002).


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