America singing loud shifting representations of American national identity in Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Albino Carrillo


Much work has been done to study the writings of Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg. Existing scholarship on these two poets aligns them in various ways (radicalism, form, prophecy, etc.), but most extensively through their homosexuality. While a vast majority of the scholarship produced on these writers falls under queer theory, none acknowledges their connection through the theme of my research -- American identity. Ideas of Americanism, its representation, and what it means to be an American are issues that span both Whitman and Ginsberg's work. The way these issues are addressed and reconciled by Ginsberg is vastly different from how Whitman interacts with the subject: a significant departure due to the nature of their relationship. Ginsberg has cited Whitman as an influence on his work, and other scholars have commented on the appearance of this influence. The clear evidence of connection makes their different handling of similar subject matter a doorway into deeper analysis of the interworking of these two iconic American writers.


Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 Criticism and interpretation, Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997 Criticism and interpretation, National characteristics Poetry Criticism and interpretation, American poetry History and criticism

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