14/06/2019

Whitman 200: A Major International Conference Hosted by the University of Bolton's English Department

This May, the English Department hosted a major international conference to celebrate the poet Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday.

Marking Bolton as a centre of interest for Whitman scholars and readers, we were joined by speakers from as far afield as Australia and the United States, as well from across the UK.

The two-day event (23-24 May 2019) explored Whitman’s influence of ideas in the nineteenth century through to the modern era - exploring issues such as community, disability, identity, and fandom.

Hosted in conjunction with Bolton Museum and Library - which holds the largest collection of archival materials related to Whitman outside the USA - the event coincided with Bolton’s collaborative British Museum exhibition, ‘Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories in Bolton’.

English and Creative Writing students have been studying Whitman’s poetry and his connection to the Bolton Whitman Fellowship, Edward Carpenter and E.M. Forster as part of their ‘Inspirations’ lectures.

Indeed, first-year Creative Writing students, Emma Booth and Romina Ramos, proudly exhibited their poetry responses to Bolton Museum's Whitman archive to an international audience of Whitman specialists and poets.

Students formed a key part of the Whitman celebrations, providing readings, writings, and reflections on how Whitman speaks to us today.

Kim Edwards Keates

Lecturer in English

English and Creative Writing

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