Jennifer Ashton

    Email Address:
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: English
    Title: Associate Professor
    Office: 1912 University Hall Phone: 312-413-2233
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    American poetry, history of poetry, poetics, literary theory, aesthetic theory

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 2

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Humanities or Arts majors preferred, but I am happy to work with anyone who is a capable library user and online researcher.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    I am working on tracing some lines by the 19th-century American poet Walt Whitman that are quoted in an early 21st century novel (Ben Lerner's _10:04_). The lines in question appear in different places in different versions of Whitman's famous poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" but they are altogether missing from some versions of the poem, and there's one line in the quoted passage that may or may not be from Whitman. I'm looking for a student who'd be willing to track down and compare different versions of the poem using the Walt Whitman Archive (WWA) website. The work won't be difficult. Some of it will involve reading through different versions of the poem slowly and carefully. Some of it will involve searching variations of the quote's key phrases on the WWA website and checking the quote against the texts that turn up in the search. This might make a good supplemental Honors Activity for students in the Honors College, but I would welcome any student interested in learning more about Whitman and his poetry and thinking through questions of literary archiving and textual variants.

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