I was happy to chair the Walt Whitman society panel at the American Literature Association in 2012, which featured three different but fascinating papers on Whitman’s careful print layout and typography choices, his reading of Dante and how that influenced his depiction of war as hell, and his influence on two modern ethnic writers and the discourse of gays in the military.
My article “From Language to Empire: Walt Whitman in the Context of Popular Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Saxonism” was published in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review in the Summer 2006 issue (24(1):1-19).
This article contextualizes Walt Whitman’s invocations of Anglo-Saxon culture and its uneasy connections to white supremacist writing by comparing his words to those of many popular magazines and newspapers dealing with the subject, from editorials in the most prominent newspapers to specialist magazine The Anglo-Saxon. The slippery slope from the cherishing of Anglo-Saxon words and literature to the racialist or imperialist ambitions of England and the United States can be traced in both Whitman and the other work, but Whitman’s emphasis on diversity and the freedom of the individual takes his Anglo-Saxonism in a new and unexpected direction.
Link to article here.