Symposium: Starting from Paumanok: Whitman, Long Island, The World

Date: 05/03/2019

Time: 2:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Humanities 2001


“Starting from Paumanok: Whitman, Long Island, The World”

Attend some of the event or all!

2:00pm-4:45pm, Poetry Center, Humanities 2001, Stony Brook University (lectures)

5pm-6:30pm, Recital Hall, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University (Crossing lecture and performance)

“Starting from Paumanok: Whitman, Long Island, The World” is a half-day symposium at Stony Brook University that will explore Walt Whitman’s impact on literature, music, and the visual arts. Topics will include: “Whitman’s Arcadia,” “Whitman’s New York,” and “Whitman and the Civil War.” The event will culminate with a lecture and performance featuring 2018 MacArthur Fellow Matthew Aucoin, composer and writer of the opera Crossing, based on Whitman’s Civil War writings. Leading American operatic baritone Rod Gilfry will perform with Aucoin. The opera was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2017 and by the Los Angeles Opera in 2018. This lecture-performance will offer a rare opportunity for audiences in the New York area to hear this critically acclaimed work. Sponsored and supported by a FAHSS grant award, the Run Run Shaw Fund, the University Libraries, Humanities Institute, the Department of English, Department of Music, and the Office of the Provost. Free and open to the public.


Poetry Center, Humanities 2001
A selection of rare poetry works from Special Collections, SBU Libraries’ will be on display at the program.   

Session I

Whitman’s New York

2pm-2:30pm: View rare books from Special Collections, SBU Libraries, Welcome, & Introduction

2:30pm to 3:00pm: “Whitman’s Arcadia: Long Island through the Eyes of of a Poet and Painters” (Joshua Ruff, Chief Curator/Director of Collections and Interpretation, Long Island Museum)

3:00pm to 3:30pm: “A Sense of Place: Evoking Whitman’s Long Island” (SBU English PhD students present research for Long Island Museum exhibition on Whitman and walking tour)

3:30pm to 3:45pm (Break)  

Session II: 3:45pm to 4:15pm

“Walt Whitman, Rural New Yorker” (Professor Karen Karbiener, New York University)

Session III: 4:15pm to 4:45pm

Whitman and the Civil War

“Whitman the Wound Dresser” (SBU English Professor Susan Scheckel)

“Civil War and Whitman’s Homoeroticism” (SBU English PhD student Andrew Rimby)

4:45pm to 5pm (Break; travel to Recital Hall, Staller Center for the Arts)

Session IV: 5:00pm to 6:30pm  

Crossing lecture and performance

Recital Hall, Staller Center for the Arts

Crossing lecture and performance with composer Matt Aucoin and baritone Rod Gilfry

Revised Whitman-Poetry Center event program


Bookings are closed for this event.

Kristen Nyitray

Kristen Nyitray

Associate Librarian; Director, Special Collections and University Archives; and University Archivist at Stony Brook University Libraries
Contact her for research assistance with rare books, manuscript collections, historical maps, and SBU history. E-mail:
Kristen Nyitray

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