Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thursday, April 2: Trish Loughran, "The Grave at the End of the Poem: Whitman Printed, Photographed, and Waxed"

The American Studies Consortium,
with support from the Nineteenth Century Forum
and the Poetry and Poetics Workshop
presents a lecture by

Trish Loughran
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“The Grave at the End of the Poem:
Whitman Printed, Photographed, and Waxed”

Thursday, April 2
3222 Angell Hall
4 PM

Reception to follow. Everyone is welcome!

ABSTRACT: Recent shifts in communications technologies have made pre-digital print culture come into view as a discrete object of historical study—a five hundred-year-old fossil that, because its time has largely passed, is now subject to the monumentalizing archival impulse to define, to classify, to contain—to name and know fully.  In this talk, I will think about what it means to look back on 19C print culture from the other side of the great digital divide.  In particular, I consider a range of Walt Whitman’s work in the context of the nineteenth century’s ceaseless technological innovations across a number of materials forms, printed and otherwise—from handpress printing to photography and (early) voice recording—all forms Whitman explored and experimented with between around 1840 and 1892. Using the example of Whitman to produce both a “reading” of his corpus and a meditation on historicist method, I want to think about both the “ontology” of print—its irreducible ‘printedness’—and how that squares with a more materialist approach that takes the micro-fissures of historical detail into account.

Trish Loughran is Associate Professor of English & History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on the connections between art, history, politics, and communications technology from the early Enlightenment to the present. She is the author of The Republic in Print: Print Culture in the Age of U.S. Nation Building, 1770-1870 (Columbia UP, 2007), which was awarded the Oscar Kenshur Book Prize in Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 19 & 20: Two events with Bruce Burgett

You are warmly invited to attend two events with

Bruce Burgett
Professor and Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Washington, Bothell
Co-director, Graduate Program in Public Scholarship, Simpson Center for the Humanities

“Keywords for American Cultural Studies:
What Do (Print-Digital) Keywords Do?”
Thursday, March 19
3222 Angell Hall
4 PM

Drawing on his experience co-editing Keywords for American Cultural Studies (NYU Press 2007/2014), Burgett will discuss what makes keyword projects different from other forms of academic presentation and other means of approaching questions of interdisciplinary field formation.  In contrast to encyclopedias and reference works, Keywords aims not to codify the state of scholarship in discrete fields called American studies and cultural studies, but to catalyze interdisciplinary conversations across those fields and others.  In both print and digital formats, keyword projects encourage authors and users to think critically and creatively about the genealogies and futurologies of terms and concepts.

UM faculty members June Howard (Chair of the Department of American Culture and Professor of English, American Culture, and Women’s Studies) and Kevin Gaines (Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies), will join Professor Burgett to discuss questions of methodology, pedagogy, and technology.


“Why Public Scholarship Matters in Graduate Education”
Friday, March 20
3184 Angell Hall
11 AM

Please join Professor Burgett for a discussion of his recent Pedagogy article on public scholarship, co-authored with Miriam Bartha. Coffee and bagels will be provided.


Drawing on nearly a decade of experience at the University of Washington, the authors argue for a reorientation of graduate curricula and pedagogy through publicly engaged forms of scholarship. Recognizing that the claims mobilized around public scholarship are necessarily local and situational, they suggest that public scholarship is best understood as organizing language that can align and articulate convergent interests rather than standardize or normalize them. This approach to public scholarship cuts against the disciplinary-professional mandates of most graduate curriculum since it requires both diversified forms of professionalization and pragmatic commitments to institutional change.

The article is available for download here.

Bruce Burgett is Professor and Dean in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, graduate faculty in the Department of English at the University of Washington, Seattle, and co-director of the Graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship program at University of Washington’s Simpson Center for the Humanities.  He is the author of Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic (1998), and co-editor, with Glenn Hendler, of Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Professor Burgett has published multiple scholarly articles on sex and nation in early America, as well as essays on interdisciplinary education, cultural studies, and public scholarship. A past President of the Cultural Studies Association, Professor Burgett currently serves as Chair of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life.

Sponsored by the American Studies Consortium, Reorientations, and the Department of American Culture