posted February 4, 2010

Speaker to Discuss “Walt Whitman in the Digital Age”

Dr. Kenneth M. Price of the University of Nebraska will highlight the digital future of scholarship and learning in the humanities when he presents "Walt Whitman in the Digital Age" as the annual DeGraaf Lecture at Hope College on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Price is the Hillegass University Professor of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and co-director of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  He has special interests in Walt Whitman, 19th- and early 20th-century American literature, American periodicals and humanities computing.  As co-director of the Walt Whitman Archive, he is engaged in a long-term effort to edit Whitman's works on the Web.

"In addition to his substantial contributions to traditional literary scholarship, Professor Price has been a pioneer in the 'Digital Humanities' since the mid-1990s, when the field was just emerging," said Dr. William Pannapacker, who is an associate professor of English and director of the college's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program in the Arts and Humanities.  "Essentially, the Digital Humanities represent a growing awareness that the traditional methods of teaching and learning can be enhanced and transformed by the Internet, enabling communication and collaboration in a global context, cultivating projects that harvest the intellectual and cultural contributions of unlimited numbers of people over generations, challenging the notion of scholarship as a solitary activity, and the printed monograph as the standard unit of scholarly production."

The Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a joint initiative of the University Libraries and the College of Arts & Sciences.  The center advances interdisciplinary research in the humanities by creating unique digital content, developing tools to assist scholars in text analysis and visualization, and encouraging the use and refinement of international standards for humanities computing.

The Whitman Archive has been awarded federal grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the U.S. Department of Education, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.  In 2005, the Whitman Archive received a "We the People" grant from the NEH to build a permanent endowment to support ongoing editorial work.  Last year, Price received a Digital Innovation Award from the American Council of Learned Societies to advance work on editing Whitman's Civil War writings.

Price is the author of more than 40 articles and author or editor of nine books.  His most recent book is "Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays" (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), co-edited with Ed Folsom and Susan Belasco.  His other recent books include "Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work" (Blackwell Publishing, 2005), which he co-authored with Folsom, and "To Walt Whitman, America" (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), a main selection of The Readers Subscription, a national book club.

Price received his B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and earned a master's and doctorate from the University of Chicago.

The Clarence DeGraaf Lectureship was established in 1988 by the family of Dr. Clarence DeGraaf in memory of his service on the faculty of Hope College. DeGraaf, who died in 1986, taught in the department of English at Hope for 44 years, until his retirement in 1972, and served as department chairman for 25 of those years.

The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street.