Walt Whitman was born on this day in 1819, and amid a panoply of planned festivities, his bicentennial has renewed popular interest in Whitman’s legacy. What has Whitman left us in our twenty-first century? Whatever he has bequeathed to us culturally, what’s certain is that 200 years after his birth, his textual legacy continues to grow.
President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, having been assassinated at Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.
Kathleen (Katy) Telling is a Plan I Honors Junior at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in History and French. She’s taking Dr. Robert Abzug’s “Religion and Psychology in Modern American Culture,” which meets periodically at the Harry Ransom Center. [Read more…] about Out of the classroom, into the collections: Undergraduate class brings students to Ransom Center archives
The Ransom Center announces the 11th Flair Symposium, “Cultural Life During Wartime, 1861–1865” to take place September 18–20.
The symposium is organized in conjunction with the Ransom Center’s upcoming fall exhibition, The Making of Gone With The Wind, which opens September 9. In the 75 years since the film’s release, Gone With The Wind and the novel that inspired it have helped shape the way many Americans understand and remember the Civil War.
The symposium looks back to the nineteenth century to examine the cultural world of Union and Confederate painters, photographers, musicians, theater companies, and writers. The songs, images, poems, books, and plays that appeared between 1861 and 1865 offer a nuanced perspective on the Civil War that challenges later narratives, both fictional and historical.
Historians, literary critics, musicologists, and art historians will gather in Austin to discuss the works of well-known figures such as Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, and Frederick Douglass, as well as works related to “Rose’s War,” an 1865 slave insurrection, and the 1864 “Siege of Atlanta.” Panelists will also reflect on the expanding Civil War canon and the legacy of the war’s cultural productions.
Deborah Willis, professor and chair of Photography & Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, will deliver the keynote address, which is co-sponsored by the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.