S05E05 | Finding Whitman Between the Columns: A Trip Into Nineteenth-Century Newsprint

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Manage episode 336279179 series 1550370
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Everybody knows Walt Whitman (1819-1892) as the poet of Leaves of Grass (1855), but only a few think of him as a newspaperman. Still, Whitman’s journalistic writings are not only more numerous than his poetic output, but they also attracted more readers for much of his career. This podcast episode looks at one of Walt Whitman’s jobs in journalism: his editorial post at the Brooklyn Daily Times in the late 1850s, after he had already published two unsuccessful editions of Leaves of Grass. The extent of Whitman’s writings for the Times is hotly debated, with scholarly assessments ranging from “no association” to “wrote most editorials for multiple years.” In this episode, Dr. Matt Cohen (University of Nebraska—Lincoln), one of the co-directors of the Walt Whitman Archive, interviews Whitman researchers Drs. Stephanie M. Blalock (University of Iowa Libraries), Kevin McMullen (University of Nebraska—Lincoln), Stefan Schöberlein (Texas A&M University—Central Texas), and Jason Stacy (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) who have been trying to identify and track Whitman’s anonymous writings in that paper for a collaborative grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Their conversation not only engages with scholarly issues relating to authorship attribution, antebellum newspaper culture, and Whitman biography but also features excerpts of newly discovered writings by Whitman—on topics as disparate as prostitution, policing, and public works. Additional production support provided by Lizzy LeRud (Georgia Institute of Technology). Transcript available at https://bit.ly/S05E05-Transcript.

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