HarvardX: AI12.2x: Poetry in America: Whitman

Poetry in America: Whitman Video
School: HarvardX
Course Code: AI12.2x
Classes Start: 15 Jan 2014
Course Length: 8 weeks
Estimated effort: 3 to 6 hours/week



Poetry in America: Whitman

Poetry in America: Whitman

A module focused on Whitman in a course that surveys 300+ years of poetry in America, from the Puritans to the avant-garde poets of this new century.

About this Course

*Note - This is an Archived course*

This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course. 

A module in a course that surveys 300+ years of poetry in America, from the Puritans to the avant-garde poets of this new century, the course covers individual figures (Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Williams, Hughes), major poetic movements (Firesides, Modernist, New York, Confessional, L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E) and probes uses of poetry across changing times. Who, and what, are poems for? For poets? Readers? To give vent to the soul? To paint or sculpt with words? Alter consciousness? Raise cultural tone? Students will read, write about and also recite American poems.

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Course Staff

  • Elisa New

    Elisa New

    Elisa New is the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University where she teaches classic American literature from Anne Bradstreet through Marilynne Robinson and from the Puritans to the present day. She is the author of The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1992) The Lines Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight (Harvard University Press, 1999) Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore (2009). She also has two books forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell, New England Beyond Criticism: In Defense of America's First Literature (2014) and How To Read American Poetry (2015).

  • Leah Reis-Dennis

    Leah Reis-Dennis

    Leah Reis-Dennis graduated from Harvard College in 2013, where she studied American History and Literature. At Harvard, Leah studied with Elisa New, whose "Poetry in America" course inspired her love for American poetry. Leah works for HarvardX as a Lead Course Developer for AI12X.

  • Ari Hoffman

    Ari Hoffman

    Ari Hoffman is a PhD candidate in English at Harvard University, where   he serves as a Resident Tutor in Lowell House. He studies contemporary fiction, with a focus on Jewish literature. Ari’s dissertation examines the ways in which   Jewish American authors have represented Israel as well as the relationship   between American Jews and Zionism more broadly. A 2010 graduate of Harvard   College, Ari has studied at Cambridge University and traveled extensively in India  and the Middle East. He is thrilled to be on board for this exciting endeavor!

  • John North Radway

    John North Radway

    John North Radway teaches and writes about poetry in the broad context of modern and postmodern American literature and culture. He is finishing a dissertation about the fate of epic in twentieth-century poetry, examining the afterlife of an ancient literary tradition amid the turbulent literary and social climate of the past hundred years. A graduate of Amherst College, he writes novels and poetry of his own when he thinks no one’s looking.