War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials

War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials

Bin Danh
Assistant Professor of Art, Department of Art and Art History, San Jose State University

Robert Shultz
John P. Fishwick Professor of English Emeritus, Roanoke College

In this time of racial tensions involving contested public monuments, War Memoranda: Photography Walt Whitman, and Memorials offers new possibilities. For Whitman, “the land entire” was a perpetual memorial to the Civil War dead, whose transmuted bodies rose again in American leaves of grass. Accordingly, Binh Danh and Robert Schultz have developed soldiers’ portraits in the flesh of leaves and have photographed the fields where they fell using Civil War-era photographic techniques.

Binh Danh received his M.F.A. from Stanford University. His work investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war, both in Vietnam and Cambodia. He has exhibited his works at museums nationally and internationally. His works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Art Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the George Eastman House. He is professor of photography at Arizona State University and is represented by the Haines Gallery in San Francisco and the Lisa Sette Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Robert Schultz is the author three collections of poetry, Ancestral Altars, Vein Along the Fault, and Winter in Eden; a novel, The Madhouse Nudes; and a work of nonfiction, We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman’s Pacific War. He received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and, from The Virginia Quarterly Review, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry. He earned his M.F.A. and Ph.D. at Cornell University. Since 2004, Schultz has been the John P. Fishwick Professor of English at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He is represented by Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents in New York.

This talk was proposed by Amy G. Moorefield and is sponsored by the Phillips Museum of Art, the Art and Art History Department, and the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House.

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