Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies / Edition 1

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Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies reinvigorates the study of Whitman and American culture by presenting essays that demonstrate Whitman's centrality to the widest range of social, political, literary, sexual, and cultural discourses of his time and ours. The volume assembles a distinguished group of cultural critics working in the fields of literature, American studies, Latin American studies, European studies, art history, and gay/lesbian/queer studies. Together they open new vistas in the ways we see Whitman and provide a model for the newest and brightest intellectual efforts associated with cultural studies.

Central to the volume is breaking the bounds of decorum that have too long separated Whitman's sexuality from his politics, and his poetry from both. The Whitman that emerges from these collected essays is renewed for a new generation of readers seeking to define the places and the functions of his poetic words in the world. Breaking Bounds points to the interdisciplinary future of American literary and cultural studies and is essential reading for anyone interested in Whitman both inside and outside the academy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies, one of the most diverse, important, exciting, and responsible collections of critical essays on Whitman ever published, Betsy Erkkila and Jay Grossman have brought together a body of literary and cultural criticism that seeks to undo the academic structures and strictures that erase the vital, conspicuous, "special" relationship between the political and sexual in Whitman's life and work."—Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

"...this is an excellent group of essays, some quite will be of interest to anyone interested in American culture or in Whitman..."Lambda Book Report

"Breaking Bounds is a thought-provoking volume that should inspire Whitman scholars looking for new ways of engaging his work and that should attract new scholars to Whitman studies."—Texas Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195093506
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Northwestern University

Amherst College

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Breaking Bounds 1
1 Confusion of Tongues 23
2 Whitman Drunk 30
3 Whitman and Problems of the Vernacular 44
4 Whitman, Syntax, and Political Theory 62
5 His America, Our America: Jose Marti Reads Whitman 83
6 "In Loftiest Spheres": Whitman's Visionary Feminism 92
7 Whitman's "Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand": Remarks on the Endlessly Repeated Rediscovery of the Incommensurability of the Person 112
8 Errata sobre la erotica, or, the Elision of Whitman's Body 123
9 Homosexuality and Utopian Discourse in American Poetry 135
10 America on Canvas, America in Manuscript: Imaging the Democracy 147
11 Whitman's Lesson of the City 163
12 Making Capital: War, Labor, and Whitman in Washington, D.C. 174
13 Whitman's Calamus Photographs 193
14 "When the World Strips Down and Rouges Up": Redressing Whitman 220
15 "For America - For All the Earth": Walt Whitman as an International(ist) Poet 238
Epilogue: Whitman's Centennial and the State of Whitman Studies 251
Bibliography 265
Contributors 277
Index 280
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