12-17 June


the transatlantic WALT whitman association






Welcome to the website of the 13th International whitman week!

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Founded in Paris in 2007, the Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association (TWWA) invites students, researchers, and Whitman enthusiasts to participate in its 13th annual Whitman Week, consisting of a seminar for students interested in Whitman and Whitman’s poetry, and a symposium bringing together international scholars and graduate students.

In 2023, the Whitman Week will take place for the first time in the Italian capital, Rome.

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Colorized by Dana Keller


University of rome

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The Whitman Weeks started at TU Dortmund University, Germany (2008), and continued at Université François-Rabelais, Tours, France (2009), Università degli Studi di Macerata, Italy (2010), Universidade Estadual Paulista, Araquara, Brazil (2011), Szczecin University, Poland (2012), Northwestern University, Chicago, USA (2013), Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Germany (2014), Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany (2015), University of Exeter, England (2016), Université Paris-Est, Créteil, France (2017), TU Dortmund University (2018), and, for the Whitman Bicentennial at New York University, New York City, USA (2019).

how to apply?

Applications for the seminar should include a curriculum vitae, a one-page statement of interest, and a short letter of support from an instructor who knows the applicant well. All of these materials, including the letter of recommendation, should be submitted by e-mail to the Rome organizers, Giorgio Mariani ( and Daphne Orlandi (, by March 1, 2023.


International students will live together at no charge with Sapienza students, thus creating opportunities for meaningful intercultural dialogue.

photo colorized by Dana Keller


of the 13th international whitman week

In the morning classes, focusing on some of Whitman’s major poems and selections from his prose, students will have an opportunity to confront Whitman’s books, share their readings of key poems and clusters, and discuss Whitman’s cohesive representation of human relations and his work’s international significance. Afternoon translation workshops will focus on the reception of Whitman in various countries, as well as the translation of his poems into different languages.

This year's symposium, dedicated to Whitman's civil war writings will take place during the final two days of the week.

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The international instructors of this year’s seminar come from France, Germany, Italy and the United States.

Seminar leaders

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Éric Athenot

Professor of American literature and translation at Université Paris-Est Créteil. He has published a short introduction to Walt Whitman in French (Walt Whitman, Poète-Cosmos, 2002) and carried out several translations of Whitman’s poetry and prose for Éditions José-Corti, with a special interest in poems in their first edition (Feuilles d’herbe, Recueil d’Amérique, Battements de tambour, and Enfants d’Adam and Calamus). In 2007, along with Whitman scholars from Europe and the Americas, he founded the TWWA.

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Marina Camboni

Professor of American Literature at University of Macerata, Italy; co-Founder of the TWWA and the organizer of the 2010 Whitman Week in Macerata; former President of AISNA, the Italian Association of North American Studies; author of Walt Whitman, Utopia in the Present Tense: Walt Whitman and the Language of the New World (1992), Il corpo dell’America: Leaves of Grass 1855 (1990); Walt Whitman e la lingua del mondo nuovo (2004).

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Ed folsom

Professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa; co-director of the online Walt Whitman Archive; editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review; author, co-author and editor of over a dozen Whitman-related books, including, most recently, Song of Myself with a Complete Commentary (2016), co-authored with Christopher Merrill; Walt Whitman’s Democratic Vistas: A Facsimile of the Original Edition (2010); Re-Scripting Walt Whitman (2007), co-authored with Kenneth M. Price; Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman (2005); and Whitman East and West: New Contexts for Reading Walt Whitman (2002).

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zachary turpin

Professor of American Literature at University of Idaho; discovered and edited Whitman's second novella, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, 1852, and his pseudonymous wellness manifesto Manly Health and Training, 1858; he is the co-editor of volume 3 of Whitman’s Journalism (in the Collected Writings of Walt Whitman), and, with Matt Miller, the editor of Whitman’s Notebooks, forthcoming in the Iowa Whitman Series.

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translation workshops

Translation workshops will be directed by two prominent scholars and translators:

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Manuel broncano

Professor of English at Texas A&M International University since 2009. Author of numerous scholarly articles on the American Southwest, he translated into Spanish works by O'Connor, Melville, Cather, Poe, Irving, Dickens etc., and edited multiple collected volumes.

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Walter Grünzweig

Professor of American Literature and Culture at TU Dortmund since 1994. He is the author of the definitive study of Whitman in German-speaking countries (Constructing the German Walt Whitman, 1995) and translator of the 1855 Leaves into German.

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  • Kamran Baradaran, Islamic Azad University, (B.A. student)
  • Laura Bouali, Université Paris-Est Créteil (M.A. student)
  • Clara Burghelea, University of Texas at Dallas (Ph.D. student)
  • Giordana Bruno, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Eleonora Cassoni, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Giulia de Nicolellis, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Adriana Pia Elmo, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Carlotta Ferrando, Sapienza - Università di Roma (Ph.D. student)
  • Elena Gardenghi, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. graduate)
  • Farid Ghadami, Université Paris-Est Créteil (Ph.D. student)
  • Qian Hou, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Ph.D. student)
  • Olga Khavova, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Shoira Kholikova, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Vasilissa Kochankina, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Anna Krücken, TU Dortmund, (M.A. student)
  • Nina Lambarelli, Sapienza - Università di Roma (B.A. student)
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WHItman week - seminar students

  • Costanza Lo Presti, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Martina Lombardo, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Una López, Universität zu Köln, (M.A. student)
  • Maria López Serrano, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (M.A. graduate)
  • Giulia Magro, Sapienza - Università di Roma (Ph.D. student)
  • Richard A. Martorelli, New York University (M.A. graduate)
  • Florian Mettner, Universität zu Köln (M.A. student)
  • Margherita Momoli, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Zélia Catarina Pedro Rafael, University of Iceland (Ph.D. student)
  • Navid Raeessi, Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg (M.A. student)
  • Mira Schruff, Universität zu Köln (B.A. student)
  • Edgar A. Stiehler, TU Dortmund (B.A. student)
  • Chiara Toscano, Sapienza - Università di Roma (M.A. student)
  • Halyna Tsymbalista, Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg (M.A. student)
  • Joan Vázquez, Universitat de Barcelona (Ph.D. student)
  • Katharine Wilson, Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg (M.A. student)
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  • Venues

whitman week

sapienza - university of rome

Founded in 1303, Sapienza is the oldest university in Rome and the largest in Europe.

With its 120,000 students, 3,500 professors and its administrative staff of 2,100 employees, Sapienza is devoted to the expansion and the sharing of knowledge through cutting-edge research, excellence in teaching, learning and international cooperation.

The Walt Whitman Week will take place at the Edificio Marco Polo in the lively, historic neighborhood of San Lorenzo, a 15-minute walk from the Sapienza “Città universitaria,” the university's main campus.

centro studi americani

For the first day of the Symposium, we will be at the Centro Studi Americani, the Italian Center for American Studies, located at the very heart of the city of Rome. The second day will take place at the Edificio Marco Polo.

sapienza - edificio marco polo

centro studi americani

  • Symposium

whitman week

symposium - War and Peace: Whitman’s Civil War Writings (16-17 june)

Whitman’s Civil War writings are vast and various—from the poetry he collected in Drum-Taps (1865) to his prose recollections of the war in Memoranda During the War (1875- 76)—and they range from early enthusiastic support for the war effort to a much more tempered examination of the war’s “convulsions” and trauma that came as a result of his work in the Civil War hospitals. This symposium invites papers that deal with Whitman’s war writings in fresh and original ways. Is his writing during the 1861-1865 period a literature of war or a literature of peace? What new insights do the recent fields of trauma theory and disability studies offer to us for reading his hospital writings? How did Whitman’s experiences in the war and memories of his hospital work affect and alter his post-Civil War writing? How does his Civil War poetry relate to other poetry written during the war (including Melville’s)? What were Whitman’s attitudes toward the Confederacy and Confederate soldiers? Where do the issues of slavery and emancipation appear in these writings? How does Whitman imagine that the postwar “peace” will develop? We welcome papers that deal with these and other questions that emerge from a re-examination of Whitman’s writing during the Civil War and into Reconstruction.

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Symposium day 1



(Via Michelangelo Caetani 32)

11:15am - 12:30 pm

12:30am - 02:00 pm



02:00pm - 03:30 pm

Panel 1: The Creative Process and Reading Experience

Yeshiva University, USA

Matt Miller

Collaging the Convulsions: Whitman’s Civil War Notebooks

Rick Martorelli

New York University, USA

Whitman’s “Bitter Sprig”: Cynical Materialism in the 1860 “Leaves of Grass” Cluster

Julia Sattler

TU Dortmund, Germany

“this amputation of my tongue”: The Creative Reception of Walt Whitman’s “The Wound Dresser”

03:30pm - 03:45 pm

Coffee break

03:45pm - 04:45 pm

Panel 2: Disaster, Modernity, Critique

Kamran Baradaran

Islamic Azad University,


Walt Whitman’s Equivalencies: Rupture and Catastrophe in Memoranda

Farid Ghadami


Paris-Est Créteil



Not a quadrille in a ball-room or the tangible absence of Doctor Benway From Balloons to Hospitals: Walt Whitman’s Blindness and Insight

Symposium day 2



(Via dello Scalo S. Lorenzo 82)

09:00am - 09:30 am

Coffee & Registration

09:30am - 11:30 am

Panel 3: A Conflicted Poet: Fracture, Persistence, Lasting Change


Requena Pelegri

Universitat de Barcelona,


Constructing the Vulnerable Male Body in Walt Whitman’s Drum-Taps (1865) and Specimen Days (1882)

Neal Dolan

University of Toronto,


“How Did the Civil War Affect Whitman’s Nationalism?”

John Matteson

John Jay College of

Criminal Justice, CUNY, US

“Death Itself Has Lost All Its Terrors”: Whitman, Washington, and the Embrace of Mortality

Anton Vander Zee

College of Charleston, USA

“Allegorical Landscapes in Whitman’s Post-Civil War Poetry”

11:30am - 12:00 pm

Closing remarks

  • info & contacts

whitman week

If you have any questions about the 2023 Whitman Week, please contact the organizers at any time.

Giorgio Mariani

Mail Envelope Illustration

Daphne orlandi

Mail Envelope Illustration

useful resources

Sapienza - University of Rome:

The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association:

The Walt Whitman Archive:

Website design by Angelo Arminio and Daphne Orlandi

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