So What if Poe Was Here? Identifying and Evaluating Virginia's Literary Landmarks

Kane, Emily Ann , Department of English, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, Department of English, University of Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia, through the Historical Highway Markers program or the Virginia Landmarks Register, lists among its landmarks approximately 33 sites crediting their significance to some kind of writing, from important state and national documents to noteworthy creative fiction and poetry, journalistic endeavors or publications of biographical or instructional subject matters. These two vehicles for commemoration are part of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which states its mission as being “to foster, encourage, and support the stewardship of Virginia's significant historic, architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources." Falling somewhere categorically between "historic" and "cultural," landmarks of literary value give to tourists and travelers a more substantial depiction of the history of the Commonwealth, but they also offer to visitors what the author John Deedy refers to as venues "where persons might commune with the spirit of those who helped create an American literature, or, in the cases of some, a literature that America shares by the reading."

Why would someone want to commune with such spirits? And how does the visiting of a place benefit one interested in studying what is generally a field centering on the imagined? What does it mean to be a literary landmark? This site aims, through the identification and evaluation of such landmarks in Virginia, to investigate and answer these questions, as well as provide a source for historic literary sites commemorated by the Commonwealth.

MA (Master of Arts)

Originally published on the XRoads site for the UVA American Studies program. Years range from 1995-2005. Content is captured at the level of functionality available on the date of capture.

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: