Skip to comments.Massive Open Online Course on Whitman opens Feb. 17
Posted on 01/19/2014 4:40:50 AM PST by iowamark
The University of Iowas first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Every Atom: Walt Whitmans Song of Myself, is open for enrollment. The six-week course, which runs Feb. 17 through March 29 and is organized by the UI International Writing Program (IWP), offers participants everywhere the opportunity to read, consider, and discuss Whitmans epic poem through video lectures, live breakout sessions, and moderated online discussions.
The course is free and open to anyone with an Internet connection. To enroll, visit: courses.writinguniversity.org/info/every-atom.
Every Atom will be co-taught by Whitman scholar Ed Folsom and International Writing Program Director Christopher Merrill. Folsom is the Roy J. Carver Professor of English at the University of Iowa, co-director of the Walt Whitman Archive, and editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. Merrill is the author of six collections of poetry and a member of the National Council on the Humanities. His work has been translated into 25 languages, and he has undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than 40 countries for the U.S. Department of State.
Everyone has a personal reason to read Song of Myself, says Folsom, explaining Whitmans wide appeal. You may have thought: Gee, Id like to, its a little daunting, its long52 sectionsbut its an exhilarating ride.
We welcome all participants, from those unfamiliar with American poetry to those looking to rediscover this modern classic, says Susannah Shive, IWP distance learning coordinator. Through a series of intimate, accessible video conversations, the course offers a guided exploration through the workings of Song of Myself.
The resources of the Walt Whitman Archive and the Whitman Web, a gallery of translations, recordings, and commentaries (including the first-ever translation of Song of Myself into Persian), will help participants navigate the poem.
How is the course structured? Each week, two video sessions will be posted, each organized around a central theme. After each session, Folsom and Merrill will pose a question to participants, encouraging them to form their own answers and then test out these answers in the MOOCs discussion forum. Folsom, Merrill, and the courses teaching assistants will guide discussion and answer questions in the forum. At the end of the week, the teaching assistants will hold a live breakout session to break down the weeks themes and explore popular topics of discussion.
The video sessions themes include Origins, Structure, Main Characters, Science, and Democracy.
The course title comes from a line in the first section of the poem:
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
A second MOOC, How Writers Write: Talks on Craft and Commitment, also organized by the UIs International Writing Program, will open this summer. These courses are funded by the U.S. Department of States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the University of Iowa, and hosted by the Virtual Writing University with the goal of encouraging global academic and creative exchange.
Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers' residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. Since 1967, more than 1,400 writers from more than 140 countries have been in residence at the UI. The IWP is part of the UIowa Graduate College.
Here’s another great resource for free online classes.
Thanks for posting this. I might not take this course, but in investigating it I ran across a course I WILL take in June: How Writers Write. Just signed up for it.
I had never heard of The Writing University or International Writing Program and had no idea such a resource existed.
As an aspiring novelist, your post may have changed my life. Thanks.
The Iowa Writers’ Workshop has been around a long time and no doubt was better in the past.
Robert Penn Warren, John Cheever, and Philip Roth are among its alums.
Massive Online Learning (MOL) is what will drive the colleges to either change or die. If you can sit at home and take a lecture from one of the top instructors in a field, wont the other colleges not need their instructor?
Oh, Let's concentrate on self for a WHOLE SEMESTER. And, for months, gaze at our navels. Perhaps this will enable us to make money after we graduate?
No... Awe Shucks
Perhaps it will make us better people and get us to love our neighbors and community more. As we examine how to be more self centered that will make us more caring people?
Uh.... No, just more selfish and self centered
Perhaps it will raise global consciousness and global self-awareness. Global self-centered authoritianists making decisions based on their own selfishness (IE Socialist/Communist)?
Oh Yeah. I get it now; subtle Anti-American leftism. Probably paid with our tax dollars.
Seriously, some of Whitman's shorter poems are remarkably good. But "Song of Myself" is insufferable.
I’m a Southerner who has known about it forever. I suspect lost readers of literary fiction know of it, too. Some of the very best writers of our time have either been faculty or students. Some of my favorite Iowa writers are Raymond Carver, Daniel Woodrell, Kent Haruf, Stuart Dybek, Barry Hannah, Marilynne Robinson, Chris Offutt, Wallace Stegnor and Flannery O’Connor. I could probably name two dozen more I have read and admire.
Greatest American short-story writer of the 20th century. Yet so few contemporary readers are familiar with her today.
A real shame.
Thanks for posting such an enriching link. I’m in and grateful to you.