MLA 2019 SHARP Panel: “New Perspectives in Book History”

Panel 484, 12 – 1:15 p.m. Sat. 5 Jan., Hyatt Regency Roosevelt I, Chicago, Illinois

Description: Panelists explore new perspectives that are altering the way we do book history, such as global perspectives and digital humanities, ephemeral book objects in twentieth-century book history, MercadoLibre, and the promise of 3-D technologies for book history.

Speakers

Nora Benedict, Princeton U

Sheila Liming, U of North Dakota

Alison Fraser, U at Buffalo, State U of New York

Kevin O’Sullivan, Texas A&M U, College Station

Amy Chen, U of Iowa

Respondent & Presider

Erin Ann Smith, U of Texas, Dallas

Abstracts:

Nora Benedict, “Mercadolibre and the Democratization of Books: A Critical Reading of New Material Affordances and Digital Book History”

The image of the “scholar-collector” is a constant in book history. In fact, many of the best bibliographers and book historians have unearthed crucial findings due to their ability to amass impressive collections of their own, from which they have gleaned novel findings. In our digital era, this reality is even more apparent, especially within the context of Latin America, whose rich history of book production and circulation in the twentieth century remains, for the most part, understudied. That said, the growth of online marketplaces, most notably MercadoLibre, which has virtually no competitive pressure from similar sites such as eBay or Amazon, is revolutionizing the way scholars research and engage with their materials. From never-before-seen publishers’ catalogues and type specimens books, to entire runs of rare paperback editions from the early part of the twentieth-century, MercadoLibre provides access to print materials that, more often than not, exist outside of the scope of most library catalogues – both national and international.

In this paper, I will provide an overview of my current digital project on Victoria Ocampo’s Editorial Sur, a twentieth-century Argentine publishing firm, and the ways in which my work is fundamentally shaped by not only the print materials that this firm produced, but also their (digital) availability on MercadoLibre. In other words, at the heart of my project is a concern for curating collections – along with detailed metadata about their physical features – that exist in both a physical space, and a digital, freely available space, and, in the process, giving voice to often neglected literary traditions and marginalized global publishing histories. Inherent in this dualism of MercadoLibre, and other online marketplaces, is the question of what we consider an archive in the digital era of book history, and how we ethically determine best practices for approaching and using these resources.

Sheila Liming, “The Reprint as Review: NYRB Classics Editions and the Business of Canonical Renovation”

In his influential essay “The Shaping of a Canon, U.S. Fiction 1960-1975” (1987), Richard Ohmann arrives at a stunning conclusion: nearly one fourth of all the books reviewed over a period of fifteen years by the New York Review of Books were published by the same firm, Random House. Ohmann then proceeds to show how the business of reviewing during this era shaped understandings of taste and “value” with regards to new works of literary fiction.

In the early 2000s, the New York Review of Books launched its “NYRB Classics” series, seeking to introduce reprint editions of “lost” literary classics to the contemporary literary marketplace. Where it had previously made its mark as an intellectual powerhouse through book reviewing, the NYRB now engaged in a process of re-reviewing, which involved using increasingly cheap printing technology in order to renovate the previously sacred space of the English language literary canon. In doing so, the NYRB Classics series also began to exert pressure on readers’ notions of the term “classic” which, far from a Kermodian insistence on “perpetuity” and “transcendence,” began to appear associated with neglect, disregard, or abandonment.

In this presentation, I survey the inroads that the NYRB Classics series has made into reshaping the western literary canon. I style that discussion as a kind of update to Ohmann’s findings, which were published more than thirty years ago. In particular, I focus on how the NYRB Classics series has sought to de-westernize the western canon by shining a light on forgotten portions of the world literary marketplace. This situation differs sharply from the one described by Ohmann in his 1987 article and, in my research, I use quantitative methods (including data visualization) to show how the NYRB is, today, actually revising a canon that it helped establish thirty years previously, during the first “wave” of what are now known as the “canon wars.”

Alison Frasier, “Homemade Books:  Ephemeral Book Objects in Twentieth-Century Book History”

This paper argues that twentieth-century book historians should consider ephemeral, homemade objects like scrapbooks, clippings files, and photo-albums, a feminist redetermination of what we consider to be valuable in the study of book history.  More acutely than any other type of writing, scrapbooks and clippings call into question what we traditionally understand to be the labor of making and insist on refocusing our attention to process when we consider the product (or book).  The “homemade” quality of the ephemeral objects analyzed in this paper positions them outside of the traditional publication marketplace and its attendant critics, locating them inside private, domestic spaces of production.  This removal from the literary marketplace allows their makers to create outside of the bounds of a male-dominated publication community, making and circulating works around the dominant publishing economies and exclusive historical narratives, as they claim taste-making roles (like editors and publishers) for themselves.  My paper focuses on the homemade object making of twentieth-century female poets—women who were deeply familiar with publishing and eager to explore its alternatives.  These poets make objects that have process specially coded in them, and I contend that this process of labor and language is tied up with the invisible labor of women.  While the field of book history has embraced the idea of the “book-as-object,” and has productively examined pre-twentieth-century ephemeral print publications, there is a need to examine these issues in light of twentieth-century concerns, as well as their relevance to digital books and their multimodal and user-centered platforms.

Kevin O’Sullivan, “The Bibliographical Press Anew: Leveraging 3D Technologies in Book History Pedagogy”

 In the past decade, the allied technologies of 3D scanning, 3D printing, and 3D modelling have been integral to advances in fields as diverse as biomedical research, aerospace engineering, and zoology. While these tools have only recently gained a prominent foothold in the humanities, the results here have been no less exciting. Given its concern for aspects of material culture, the interdisciplinary field of book history stands to especially benefit from this new trend. Embracing the open access ethos promoted by both the digital humanities and maker communities, the application of these technologies within our field promises to be a global democratizing force, which will change the way future scholars research and teach book history. In this new wave of digitization, libraries and museums have begun to make robust 3D data of their collections materials widely available to scholars through open repositories. As an extension, working facsimiles of once-expensive resources integral to the instruction of historical printing can now be 3D printed for a fraction of the cost. This paper will begin with a survey of these and similar efforts to extend research and instruction possibilities within book history through the application of 3D technologies. It will then turn to a consideration of the important ramifications which this new accessibility to 3D data will have for broadening the scope of who is able to participate in such research and instruction, and how they are able to do so.

Amy Hildreth Chen, “Playing around with book history: Codex Conquest and Mark”

Students learn more when they play—while the value of play often is emphasized only for those early in their education, play has a role in higher education as well. To teach book history across time and space, I developed two card games: Codex Conquest (http://codexconquest.lib.uiowa.edu/) and Mark (under development: https://humangames.lab.uiowa.edu/).

Codex Conquest allows students to recognize the most important books of Western civilization by their nation, century, genre, and current monetary value. Along the way, students learn European history and the scenarios that influence the shape of institutional collections. Mark introduces students to the hallmarks of early modern visual culture by allowing them to play a variety of games with a single deck of cards comprised of printer’s marks (devices). As open educational resources (OERs), both games can be downloaded for free from their respective websites and used as is or changed to suit an instructor’s objectives. As supplemental curricula, both games can be played in a single class period.

These games are a new direction in digital humanities. Book history digital humanities often considers the value and qualities of digital editions and facsimiles or focuses attention on annotation or other approaches to scholarly editing. However, this talk offers something new: it proposes book history digital humanities should expand to consider the possibilities offered by game design.

Posted in MLA

Editor sought for SHARP’s Book History journal

Founded in 1991, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) is the leading international organisation for the study of the history of the book, broadly defined. It has around 1000 members from a wide range of disciplinary and institutional backgrounds, including academics and independent scholars, librarians and archivists, publishers and booksellers, and holds regular conferences across the world. In addition, it runs a vibrant email discussion list (SHARP-L), the online SHARP News, and Lingua Franca, the journal of book history in translation.

Book History, the Society’s annual journal, was established in 1998 as ‘a new journal for a new kind of history’, to quote the introduction to the first volume, and its intention was to ‘offer new perspectives and innovative methods’. The founding editors were Jonathan Rose (Drew University, USA) and Ezra Greenspan (Southern Methodist University, USA). In 1999, the journal was selected as the ‘Best New Journal’ by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. It is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Following the recommendations of SHARP’s Board on Publications Policies and Practices in September 2018, editors will serve a six-year term (with a lifetime maximum of two terms). As a consequence, Jonathan Rose is stepping down, and in recognition of his two decades of service and leadership as Book History editor, he, along with co-founder Ezra Greenspan, who stepped down after sixteen years’ service in 2014, will be credited as honorary ‘Founding Editors’ in future issues of Book History.

The Executive Council of SHARP is consequently seeking a new editor to work alongside the two remaining current editors, Beth le Roux (University of Pretoria) and Greg Barnhisel (Duquesne University) from the beginning of 2019.

Applicants should have an established expertise in the field of the history of the book, broadly defined, and share SHARP’s commitment to expanding its international character, including Book History’s ambition to publish the best scholarship in the field of the history of the book from across the globe. We welcome applicants who are willing to embrace innovative publishing solutions and align our flagship publication with our other digital initiatives, and to consider Book History’s role in scholarly communications in the future.

The Society is keen to solicit applications from both senior and junior scholars. Experience of editing is essential; experience of using an editorial management system would be desirable (Book History uses ScholarOne). Fluency in English is a requirement; fluency in other languages would be an advantage. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient institutional support (release time and incidental expenses) to take on the role.

We anticipate, once appointed, that the new editor will join Beth le Roux (https://www.up.ac.za/en/information-science/article/1913738/professor-elizabeth-le-roux) and Greg Barnhisel (https://www.duq.edu/academics/faculty/greg-barnhisel) at the beginning of 2019. Among the three editors there should be diversity in terms of subject and period expertise, geographic representation, and methodological and disciplinary background. As such, applicants should provide in their application letter an indication of their areas of research expertise.

Editors will be expected to provide an annual report to the SHARP Executive Council via the Director of Publications and Awards.

Application procedure

Applications will be assessed by an Appointments committee, chaired by Claire Squires (University of Stirling, Scotland), SHARP’s Director of Publications and Awards, and which includes senior members of the Society and one of Book History’s current editors as a non-voting member (Ruth Panofsky, Ryerson University, Canada; Susan Pickford, Sorbonne-Université, France; Samantha Rayner, University College London, England; and Greg Barnhisel, Duquesne University, USA).

Applications should consist of an application letter and a curriculum vitae, to be sent by email to Claire Squires (claire.squires@stir.ac.uk) to arrive no later than 5pm (UK time) on Friday 16 November. The candidate should also ensure that two letters of recommendation, specific to the post, are supplied to Claire Squires by the same deadline.

Informal queries should be directed to Claire Squires. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision early in the new year.

CFP: How Repositories, Publishers, Readers, and Authors Respond to Climate Change — A Panel Sponsored by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing

How does the specter of climate change—be it, environmental, cultural, economic, social, or any one of numerous other possibilities—inspire authors, affect readers, and shape publishing? How does climate change or its denial impact collecting and preserving rare books and manuscripts?

We are particularly interested in discussions that center on historical contexts from which to understand climate change; how authors of color record the challenges change in the climate poses to their communities; how readers’ interests are piqued (or not) by the myriad circumstances generating climate change; how the publishing industry is responding to climate change in their booklists, publication practices, and promotion strategies; how sustainable are special collections’ and archives’ facilities and practices; and what aspects of climate change are over or under-covered in critical and/or literary discourse.

Proposals should consider the audience for the presentation by incorporating content relevant to attendees from the rare book and manuscript world, such as those in positions relating to archival processing, digitization, instruction, library administration, metadata, outreach, rare book cataloguing, and subject curation.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts to Diane Maher at diane@sandiego.edu and Amy Chen at     amy-chen@uiowa.edu by July 20, 2018. Selected panel participants will be notified shortly thereafter. The panel will then be submitted for consideration to RBMS on August 3, 2018.

Early Modern Biblical Studies Workshop (EMBerS)

 Monday 2 July, 2018. 1:30pm—4:00pm. 

This event represents the first gathering of an emergent network for scholars interested in early modern biblical studies. It precedes the main Society for Renaissance Studies conference (3-5 July, Sheffield), where we will offer papers in two panels (20 & 27). Workshop participation is free but places are limited and advance registration is required.

Organised by Dr Iona Hine in association with Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS), Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies (SCEMS), and the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Printing (SHARP).

Funding: This event is supported by a SHARP Lightning Seed grant. Early Career Researchers* are invited to apply for a small subsidy to cover the costs of participation (e.g. travel or overnight accommodation). You should indicate whether you wish to apply for this scheme when registering. *Preference for this support may be given to those currently outside secure long-term employment or funded study, or otherwise ineligible for financial support from their academic institution. 

Venue: Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield, S3 7QY.

To book a (free) place at the workshop, visit: https:// eventbrite.co.uk/e/early-modern-biblical-studies-workshop-embers-tickets-43388076906 

To join the emergent EMBERS Google Group, visit: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/embers-forum

Click here to download a flyer for the event.

 

 

 

CFP: “Revolutionary Book History” SHARP at SAMLA 2-4 November 2018 Birmingham, Alabama

Papers are invited for the SHARP affiliate session at the 2018 South
Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Convention. Potential
topics include print culture, history of the book, authorship,
publishing history, ephemera, illustration, publishers’ archives,
production, circulation, and reception. Papers addressing this year’s
convention theme, “Fighters from the Margins: Social-Political
Activists and Their Allies” are especially welcome. What connections
can be made between print culture/book history and ideas of activism?
How have books pushed the boundaries of technology, form, artistic
expression, and subject matter? What are the connections between
printing and social justice, activism and print culture? What is the
role of print in effecting social change? How have printers,
publishers, and authors been a force for change from Gutenberg to
today?

The 90th annual SAMLA Convention will be held November 2-4, 2018 at
the Sheraton Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. Proposers need not be
members of SHARP to submit, but panelists must be members of both
SAMLA and SHARP to present. By June 1, 2018, please send a 250-word
abstract and short biography (together in one document) to SHARP
liaison Melissa Edmundson Makala, Clemson University, at
rmakala@clemson.edu.

Of Prophets and Saints: Literary Traditions and “convivencia” in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia

The international workshop will be held in Madrid on February 22 and 23, 2018 to explore religious literature that originated under the particular conditions of “convivencia” in the societies of medieval and early modern Iberia.  The participants will employ comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to open new perspectives on how the coexistence of Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities on the Iberian Peninsula is reflected in their respective literary traditions.  The focus will be on works concerning prophets and saints.  The workshop is open to the public, with the exception of a show & tell on Thursday afternoon (*).  But a RSVP will be requested because seating is limited.

Organizers
Benito Rial Costas (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Dagmar Anne Riedel (CCHS-CSIC & Columbia University)

Conference secretary
Amy Meverden (Union Theological Seminary in City of New York)

Confirmed participants
Matthew Anderson (Georgetown University)
Fernando Baños (Universidad de Alicante)
Javier Castaño (CCHS-CSIC)
Manuela Ceballos (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Maribel Fierro (CCHS-CSIC)
Alejandro García Sanjuán (Universidad de Huelva)
Araceli González (IMF-CSIC)
Racheli Haliva (Universität Hamburg)
Patrick Henriet (EPHE)
Amir Hussein (Loyola Marymount University)
Fabrizio Lelli (Università del Salento)
Nuria Martínez de Castilla (EPHE)
Lucia Raspe (Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main & Jüdisches Museum Berlin)
Patrick Ryan (Fordham University)
Claude Stuzcyinski (Bar Ilan University)
Jesús R. Velasco (Columbia University)
Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

22 February  2018, Biblioteca Histórica “Marqués de Valdecilla” (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

9.00-11.30      PANEL 1:  Historiographical Challenges of “convivencia”

12.00-14.00    PANEL 2:  Concepts of Sanctity & Prophecy

*16.00-18.00   Show & Tell in the library’s reading room restricted to the participants  not open to the public!

23 February 2018, Residencia de Estudiantes (CSIC)

9.00-13.30      PANEL 3:  Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Examples of Literature about and by Saints and Prophets from Medieval and Early Modern Iberia

15.30-17.30    PANEL 4:  Diachronic Case Study of the Kitāb al-shifāʾ bi-taʿrīf huqūq al-Muṣṭafā (“The book of healing concerning the recognition of the true facts about the chosen one”) by al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ (1083-1149)

17.45-19.00    PANEL 5:  Concluding Roundtable

Third Colloquium on Argentine Periodicals

National University of La Plata, Buenos Aires, 6-7 December 2017

Directoras: Verónica Delgado, Geraldine Rogers

Comité organizador: Margarita Merbilháa, Verónica Stedile Luna, María de los Ángeles Mascioto, Víctor Gonnet, Iván Suasnábar, Laura Giaccio

Días: 6 y 7 de diciembre de 2017

Lugar: Aula C 201, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, calle 51 entre 124 y 125, Ensenada.

SHARP Lightning Seed grants for ECRs

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the new SHARP Lightning Seed grants for early career researchers. These grants are intended as quick micro grants that hopefully will produce long-term benefits.

SHARP is aware that one of the issues facing ECRs is to document the ability to obtain external funding.  Sometimes even small amounts will suffice, as both documentation of the ECR’s commitment and that the research addressed has the endorsement of a major global scholarly society. To this end, we have decided to make available a number of micro grants, in the region of 100-150 USD, for local book history activities organized by early career researchers. These grants are open to anyone, anywhere, who is a SHARP member at the time of application. Each application must state what the award will be used for, what the intended activity is, and who will benefit.  Submissions will be evaluated and, if deemed suitable, awarded until such time as the current Lightning Seed budget is exhausted.

Applications will be favoured that meet some or all of the following aims:

  • Aid research into or the dissemination of research about book history in its broadest sense
  • Have impact on the widest cross section of scholars or largest research audience possible, both at the time(s) of the event and subsequently within the wider community
  • Indicate subsequent activities that may be generated by the seed grant
  • engage with public humanities

If you are considering an activity that meets some or all of the criteria above, and believe that a Lightning Seed grant may help with an identified purpose, then please submit your application to

Simon Frost

SHARP Director of Transnational Affairs

drsrfrost@gmail.com