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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 | Author:

Various course ideas:

  • one blog post per week that will be more structured on focused short writing task/question (post two days before class) + 3 comments by class, at least one on post from another course (self-report in class?)
  • frontispiece as start to blog– of self in clothes and pose that they consider apt intro of self to world and LFW community.   Discuss week one and due week two.  Accompany by 6-10 lines of Song they identify with most (this would replace March idea of using image from internet to illustrate the passage) .  Possibly chart on google map.  Personal, familiar contact with WW.
  • UMW final project of “My Walt Whitman” (research paper or digital equivalent)
  • group annotations of assigned sections.  Randomly reviewed by peers/teachers each week to chart progress.
  • Note to Brady and Mara: redistribute readings but make sure to get to Civil War stuff before field trips.  Schedule Chatham and battlefield visits.
  • historical context readings possibly handled in teams that will blog/summarize and do oral report.  Where do we put these?  Up front for those things that fertilize the ground for WW. 
  • Image gloss.  One related to Song–students choose any image and do annotation or context or gloss (e.g., The Alamo) that includes image, audio, or video.  (Artifact more closely related to Camden and with deeper research later–see below.)  **** See this as starter project for shared annotation project.  Focus on unfamiliar, historical vs. earlier personal assignment.  Quicker gloss than more polished and rich discussion of material objects.***   What is its significance or what does it add to our knowledge base?

 Tyler’s sample schedule:

  • First week: intro and tech training
  • Second: preface and start to Song, frontispiece due and favorite lines chosen and explained
  • Third: Song  + image gloss explained above
  • Fourth: Song + rest of 1855 LoG

Common assignments still in play:

  • frontispiece/signature image (use as avatar?) to introduce themselves and i.d. passage that speaks to them
  • cultural contexts/artifacts assignment from March planning post by Matt– choose appropriately for your geographic space.    May include historical sense of places WW references.  Include image.  Use tag digitalmuseum to aggregate into space that will draw across campuses.  List generated by instructors.  Probably individual student projects.  Stagger digital museum artifacts assignment to point that makes sense to individual courses.
  • annotations of LoG. Can be linked to image glosses and digital museum for references.
  • video: “This is where I found Walt Whitman” –read-aloud in specific place by end of semester
  • documentation of/reflection on field trips
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 | Author:

General info and planning:

  • International Whitman Symposium in Italy focus on 1860 edition, esp. for graduate students– Karen will post link when website is ready
  • Library of America + WW archive for other editions, facsimiles, etc.
  • Begin with 1855 as shared base text
  • WW archive has summary descriptions of various editions

From Jim:

Looking for Whitman as immediate, collaborative space.  Disorientation because your blog is portal or home page but actually we have linked spaces controlled by individuals that feed into readable central site.  Individual–>course—> uberblog of all five courses (Looking for Whitman).  Clicking on individual posts links you back to place it was first written (Ty’s, student’s, course, etc.). 

  • Support tab on LFW site has FAQs and instructions for using WordPress, in text and video. 

If our students make videos (e.g. reading at sites for “where I found Whitman” assignment or cinepoems), they can put it on youtube  (10 minute time limit) or blip.tv (unlimited time, can set up own site or course site) and then upload it through Anarchy onto blog: simply uploading from computer may not work because of size of videos.  Audio files such as podcasts can be uploaded with Upload/Insert Audio button right from computer (own files or downloaded from internet) or with URL into Anarchy.

 LibriVox as resource for audio files (mp3 advised over ogg or mediaplayer files).  Archive.org as another source.

  • Possible or optional collaborative project for our classes: good recordings of WW texts for Librivox.
  • Consider making a Help group on our site for collaborative support on tech issues.


  • TAGS: Frontpage as tab that will send any post to the main LFW site; this is functional use of tagging to send posts to specific spaces.  Tags as key terms and issues also may be used by students to help follow shared interests.  We can have a tagcloud that will include tags from all campuses.  Encourage students to use tags generously as key words for their thinking.  Adding tags is one way to get students to think critically about what they are writing/reading.  Choice of keywords/tags can be topic for discussion in classes since it indicates students’ critical processing of work.
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 | Author:

Here is a lively discussion of a book in which poets are ranked by their beards.  Whitman gets a beard categorization and a ranking, and if you scroll down to comments underneath, you’ll see that he has admirers who feel he was not given full due.  Brady and I have a student for next fall who has admitted that Whitman was his first “celebrity crush,” so I’ll have to ask his opinion.

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