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R. W. Emerson and W. Whitman: Romantic Individualism

Guest Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Goluboff, Prof. of English, Lake Forest College

Scholars have criticized Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman for maintaining an "imperial" concept of the self, that is, a self without obligations to others, without ties to the community.  Illustrated with excerpts from their works, this talk will assess this claim, and identify reasons to both affirm and deny the charge of imperialism.  We will consider questions of collective action, the nature of evil, the writer's audience and the American future as they figure in Emerson’s and Whitman's meditations on the self.

Dr. Goluboff holds a BA from New York University where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has published dozens of scholarly articles on 19th and 20th century poetry, one of which is “Emerson’s English Traits: ‘The Mechanics of Conversation’” in American Transcendental Quarterly.  Some of his most recent creative works are “Curtis LeMay, His Cigar” and “Home on Leave, Siegfried Sassoon Hallucinates Corpses in Piccadilly” in Kentucky Review and “A Lost Work by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska” in First Class Literary Magazine.  He is a winner of the Great Teacher Award from Lake Forest College.

Later Event: March 13
Saving the Past for the Future