Walt Whitman: Poet of Democracy

Watch the recording here

Event date: Friday, February 11, 12:00 PM

Join us for a virtual conversation featuring UVA professors Mark Edmundson and Jahan Ramazani, as they discuss Edmundson’s new book, Song of Ourselves: Walt Whitman and the Fight for Democracy, exploring Whitman’s shaping of democratic identity and culture.


Mark Edmundson is University Professor and Professor of English at UVA. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the book to be discussed at the event, Song of Ourselves: Walt Whitman and the Fight for Democracy, and Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals.

Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Poetry in a Global Age (2020); Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2014); A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the Harry Levin Prize of the ACLA for the best book in comparative literary history; The Hybrid Muse: Postcolonial Poetry in English (2001); Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Yeats and the Poetry of Death: Elegy, Self-Elegy, and the Sublime (1990). He is the editor of “Poetry and Race,” a special of New Literary History (2019), and of The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry (2017); a co-editor of the most recent editions of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (2003) and The Norton Anthology of English Literature (2006, 2012, 2018); and an associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016, he is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize of the MLA, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor.