SHARP will be running a panel entitled ‘The Digital Future of Literary Archives’ at the MLA conference in New York City on January 6th 2018, 8:30 – 9:45 am, at the Clinton (Hilton). A list of the abstracts is available to download here.
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.
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
SHARP Director of Transnational Affairs
Registration is now open for this year’s Bibliographical Society of Australia & New Zealand conference Connecting the Colonies: Empires and Networks in the History of the Book, to be held in Hobart, Tasmania, 22-24 November 2017. A provisional list of speakers is below.
The BSANZ members rate is available until 30 October; general registrations will remain open until 6 November.
- Professor Rodney M Thomson, University of Tasmania. Topic to be confirmed
- Keith Adkins, Theophilus Anglicanus and the fear of Tractarianism in Van Diemen’s Land
- Eric Anderson, Cheap books, bad books
- Samir de Angelo, The book object: the book used as a response to missionary authority by the Amerindians of the northwest Amazon
- Rachael Bell, Staking a claim: New Zealand’s Official Histories of the Second World War
- Sally Bloomfield, The long reach of a little bushranger book: Michael Howe, the Last and Worst of the Bush Rangers of Van Diemen’s Land
- Helen Bones, The ARCHivER project and the rise and fall of the Tasman writing world
- Dennis Bryans, English Monotype: providing services to the Empire and beyond
- Damian Cairns, For Church and College
- Liz Conor, Peripheral vision: recurring colonial imagery of Aboriginal Australians as framing devices
- Joanna Cruickshank, ‘The constant demand for sermons’: print sermons and religious networks in Australia, 1788-1888
- Gillian Dooley, Matthew Flinders, Sir Joseph Banks and Robert Brown: the Library at Soho Square
- Veronique Duche, Treasured possessions in Australian Rare Books collections
- Penny Edmonds, ‘The British Government is now awaking’: frontier violence, Aboriginal protection, and Backhouse’s early colonial distribution of the 1837 Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Tribes
- Mary Jane Edwards, Transnational connections: the Moodies, the Stricklands, and their Canadian, English, and South African publications
- Simon Farley, Notes from Empire’s end: the diary of a Turkish soldier
- Elizabeth Freeman, Thirteenth-century English Cistercian nunneries and their cartularies
- Clare Gleeson, Owner bound volumes: a musical transmitter of culture
- Jocelyn Hargrave, ‘Errors therein marked on the margin’: John Degotardi’s The Art of Printing and editorial practice in nineteenth-century Australia
- Mark Houlahan, The Shakespearean Quarterly 1922-1924
- Sandra Hudd, Writing for the folks back home: colonial missionary story-telling
- Annaliese Jacobs, The silence of Wellington Channel: contested archives and the search for HMS Erebus and Terror, 1850-1851
- Donald Kerr, ‘The charms that a savage life holds’: Sir George Grey’s frontier experiences
- Wallace Kirsop, Providing printed matter for multicultural Australia in the nineteenth century
- Amanda Laugesen, Dictionaries in the Australian colonies: a history
- Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Cookbooks and the printing press in Britain and colonial Asia
- Robin Macdonald, ‘Bound in leather, rather than parchment, to last longer’: nuns as discerning readers in seventeenth-century Quebec
- Alicia Marchant, Boundaries and books: St Albans, Wales and the transmission of knowledge
- Ruth Mollison, Converting flora and fauna into books: scientific collecting in colonial Tasmania
- Kevin Molloy & Katie Flack, The Waifs and Strays of Sea Life: Melbourne printer Michael T Gason and the Voyage of the Tudor, 1857
- Kathryn Parsons, That bright little New Zealand annual The Huia
- Georgia Prince, Florence Nightingale and Sir George Grey: colleagues of empire
- Sarah Randles, ‘Many a treasure more’: Robert Bedford and the Kyancutta Magna Carta
- Sydney Shep, Personal geographies and global networks: William Colenso and the Victorian Republic of Letters
- Merete Colding Smith, Australia and New Zealand in nineteenth-century British children’s books
- Jane Stafford, Mrs Muter and the construction of the lady traveller
- Rodney Swan, Matisse’s Jazz: the enigma of his text
- Nicki Tarulevicz, Learning to fear: textual encounters with food safety in Singapore
- Evija Trofimova, The twilight zone of Soviet books
- Hayley Webster, Circulating scientific literature: the development of the Museum Victoria library collection
A PhD candidate in historical musicology at Harvard University, Ms. Natasha Roule has just been awarded a 2017-2018 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships for “Reviving Lully: Opera and the Negotiation of Absolutism in the French Provinces, 1685-1750.”
Her project explores the history of the first French operas—the tragédies lyriques of Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)—in the French provinces between 1685 and 1750. Scholars typically focus on productions of Lully’s operas in Paris or at court, where the operas premiered. Provincial productions of Lully’s operas, however, offer a crucial perspective on a period of unprecedented expansion of royal authority over France and the ascendance of Paris as the French cultural capital. This project argues that provincial productions of Lully’s operas voiced tension and compromise between regional identity and royal absolutist ideology. An analysis of scores, libretti, and contemporary criticism of the productions reveals a thriving practice among artists of affirming or subverting the operas’ frequent allusions to Louis XIV through musical and textual adaptations or satire. An epilogue studies modern revivals of Lully’s operas to reflect further on the repertoire’s adaptability to the identities and ideologies of performers.
Natasha was already the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the American Graduate Fellowship from the Council of Independent Colleges, the Anne Louise Barrett Fellowship from Wellesley College, and a Pforzheimer Fellowship at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, for which she contributed extensively to the music database RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales). Complementing her work as a musicologist, Natasha is the Co-Artistic Director of Les Enfants d’Orphée, a professional chamber ensemble dedicated to the performance of French baroque music. Her research on 17th-century French music manuscripts can be found on the Houghton Library Blog (July 2015), and she is currently completing an article on 18th-century Burgundian parodies of airs from Lully’s operas.
The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) seeks participants for its affiliated society session at the January 4-7, 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C. Participants will present twenty minute papers related to the study of periodicals.
We welcome scholarly work on periodicals from all geographical areas and historical eras. Sample topics may include printing technology, circulation of content, subscription and other distribution methods, the relationship between periodicals and other forms of print culture, and the study of periodicals as material texts. All submissions generally related to the history of periodicals will be considered. We furthermore encourage applicants with creative or interdisciplinary methodologies to apply.
Those interested in participating should submit a paper title, a short abstract of the presentation (up to 300 words), and a brief CV of no more than 3 pages by Friday, April 21, 2017 to Amy Sopcak-Joseph at email@example.com. Questions about affiliated society panels should be directed to the same.
Participants must be SHARP members at the time of the conference and are expected to register for the American Historical Association if selected.
Your SHARP Liaisons,
Jessica C. Linker
Call for Papers: The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc (BSANZ) Annual Conference 2017
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
22-24 November 2017
Empires of all kinds – commercial, geo-political, bureaucratic – are defined by their peripheries as well as their centres, by the flows of information that maintain or destabilise their structures of authority and control.
BSANZ, in collaboration with SHARP, the Society for the History of Authorship Reading and Publishing, invites scholars and researchers to consider the printed word, the book, and texts of all kinds, as both mechanism and matter of transmission.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any matters of bibliographical interest, traditional and contemporary. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Commercial empires: the book as a commodity in colonial contexts
- Across boundaries: print networks across geo-political, commercial or bureaucratic borders
- The trans-temporal: the afterlife of books and re-imagining of ideas
- Indigenous cultures, frontier encounters, and the presence or absence of print
- The stuff of legend: the role of print in constructing colonial and imperial consciousness
- The book as treasured possession: emotion, ownership and display
Proposals for three-person panel discussions are also welcome.
Some financial assistance towards travel costs may be available for postgraduate students who are presenting papers. Please enquire when submitting your proposal, and include a brief budget outlining your anticipated travel costs.
Proposals – including, a 250-word abstract title of paper, name and institutional affiliation of each author, a brief biography of each author, email address of each author, and 3-5 keywords – should be sent to the convenor, Ian Morrison firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presenters must be members of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand. The deadline for submissions is Friday 31 March 2017.
From the earliest clay tablets down to the latest touch screens: reading is an interaction of embodied humans with technology. Over time technological developments have caused numerous changes, and even transformations, in reading habits and the reading culture. The introduction of the rotary press together with industrial paper production in the nineteenth century, for example, made available cheap reading materials for the masses. This was followed by a tremendous growth not just in the number of readers but, more significantly, in the demographics of the reading public. By contrast, in the course of the second half of twentieth century, notably after the introduction of television, many unskilled readers stopped reading books.
Similarly, the current wholesale adoption of digital screens – in educational as well as leisure settings – has begun to affect our reading habits. Screens offer a substitute for reading from paper, but equally offer viewing, gaming and listening opportunities on the same device, not to mention the constant lure of the social media. This increases screen time, offering strong competition for people’s leisure time and reducing time spent on sustained (book) reading. It also raises urgent questions concerning small-and large-scale effects of technology on educational outcomes. There is evidence that screens change the reading experience in terms of memory and (in the case of fiction) transportation. It is also likely that digital texts are simply taken less seriously than texts on paper to begin with. Together with the 24/7 availability of huge amounts of searchable information, these and other changes will no doubt affect how we think about knowledge and information. It promotes just-in-time information gathering rather than memorising of facts, and thinking in terms of smaller fragments of information rather than longer chunks that have already been synthesised into knowledge.
The multidisciplinary EU COST E-READ Action, running between November 2014 and November 2018 has fostered a great deal of empirical research on the effects of the wholesale adoption of screens for reading. The conference ‘Books and screens and the reading brain’ is intended to showcase some of the preliminary findings. What really changes and why? But these findings also need contextualisation, relating them to the history and present practice of reading and the social history of literacy. They invite pondering the next questions. Issues the conference proposes to address include (but are not confined to):
- Empirical evidence of reading practices, e.g., book industry statistics; library statistics; media use/time-spending surveys;
- How are we to interpret the outcomes of empirical research and what are their implications for the future of reading and the role of reading in education?
- Relations between different formats (e.g., hardcover vs softcover; print vs screen) and reading practices;
- The history and present use of books and digital learning tools in education and their relative effectiveness;
- The changing status and social position of reading for various purposes, such as learning and leisure;
- The changing definition of literacy;
- The changing historiography of reading and development of research instruments.
- Vilnius University (Lithuania).
- 1 March 2017: Final deadline for proposals for individual papers and/or sessions.
- 1 May 2017: Notification of acceptance.
- 29 May 2017: Deadline for registration of participants.
- 27 September 2017: Opening of the conference.
Please submit proposals and register online through the website of the conference (http://www.eread.kf.vu.lt/). Time allocated for papers, 20 minutes. Proposals for individual papers must include a title, an abstract (max. 150 words), and a short biography of the presenter (max. 50 words). Articles based on the papers probably will be published in COST Action E-READ special publication and Vilnius University peer reviewed, open access scholarly journal „Knygotyra“ (Book Science) volumes of the year 2018. Conference fee – 200 Euros. There is a reduced rate of 150 Euros for SHARP members and 100 Euros for PhD students. Conference is free for EU COST E-READ Action members.
- Participants are responsible for their own accommodation during the conference.
- Institute of Book Science and Documentation Faculty of Communication Vilnius University Saulėtekio av. 9 LT–10222 Vilnius, Lithuania
New perspectives on the concept of authorship, 1700-1900
European University Institute (Florence, Italy)
A SHARP Regional Event
5-6 June 2017
Proposals are sought for a workshop aiming to bring together fresh perspectives on the concept of authorship in the period 1700-1900. Especially encouraged are submissions which focus on marginal or ‘accidental’ authors, examine the authorial roles of publishers, printers and other actors, deal critically with the notion of authorship from a broader methodological, historiographical or theoretical angle, or consider non-European and colonial contexts. Possible additional topics include: transnational or comparative aspects of book production and authorship; processes of self-presentation; constraints on authorial agency; legal frameworks such as censorship and copyright; the commercialization and marketing of authors; the uses and meanings of anonymous or pseudonymous publication.
The two-day workshop will take place at the European University Institute in Florence on 5-6 June 2017. Abstracts of 300 words should be sent by 31 January 2017 to email@example.com, including an updated CV and contact information. Participants will receive notification of acceptance no later than 15 February 2017.
Bursaries for graduate students, sponsored by SHARP, are available to help with travel expenses. Applicants should indicate their interest in these bursaries along with their abstracts.
Any further questions about the event, funding or the application process should be directed to the organizing committee, Matilda Greig (firstname.lastname@example.org), John-Erik Hansson (email@example.com) and Mikko Toivanen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SHARP Affiliate Organization Panel at MLA
Radical Book History: People, Archives, Methods
Thursday, 5 January 2017, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Franklin 3, Philadelphia Marriott
- This roundtable will discuss the study of “radical” book trade figures, the use of “radical” methodologies or archives. Digital humanities will be an important aspect of this discussion. Literary modernism and censorship in the twentieth century will be another common theme.
- Amy Chen will look at the market for literary collections in the United States from 1944 forward, and its impact on the literary canon.
- Ronan Crowley will talk about large-scale digitisation initiatives that shed light on the way James Joyce wrote Ulysses.
- Hannah Field will discuss the issue of titles rejected from British deposit libraries and its impact on the ideal of the universal repository.
- Laura Heffernan will look at a largely neglected figure, the editor John Rodker who collaborated with major modernists such as Ezra Pound and James Joyce.
- Eric Loy will talk about the Henry Miller Literary Society and censorship in twentieth-century America.
- Heidi Morse will look at American small presses that helped catalyze the spread of black feminist discourse and writing by radical women of color in the 1970s and 1980s.
A Quantitative Approach to the Canon: Literary Collection Acquisition Patterns
Amy H. Chen
A radical reconceptualization of book history requires us to think not only about how books are composed, published, and read, but also how writers’ papers, which document the creation of these books, circulate in their own market.
This paper will examine literary collection acquisition trends for the authors listed in Volume E of the Norton Anthology of American Literature using quantitative descriptive analysis with primarily nominal data. Results of this study include, but are not limited to, the demographics of writers with placed and unplaced collections; how often literary collections are given rather than sold; and what type of connections are most likely to result in an author selecting one academic library over another to hold his or her collection.
The research presented in this paper comprises three chapters in a forthcoming book to be titled Archival Bodies: The American Literary Collections Market since 1944.
‘Trieste-Zurich-Paris’: Literary Geography and Large-Scale Digitisation
As an émigré Irishman living on the Continent during and immediately after the First World War, James Joyce wrote Ulysses (1922) in ‘Trieste-Zurich-Paris, 1914–1921’, as its final line famously proclaims. Criticism has suffered, however, from being too narrowly focused on the social networks to which this itinerary introduced the writer. Moreover, while generations of readers have noted the densely allusive nature of the novel, entirely overlooked is the role that Joyce’s migrations played in creating this multilayered, reiterative effect. Ronan Crowley’s paper, ‘“Trieste-Zürich-Paris”: Literary Geography and Large-Scale Digitisation’, focuses on the transforming print ecologies of war-torn Europe in order to trace the impact that relocation around the Continent had on the preeminent resource for Joyce’s writing: the printed material from which he derived reusable copy. Not only will such analysis sharpen our understanding of the compositional history of a modern masterpiece – revealing an even wider, more fundamental cosmopolitanism than previously suspected – but it also reveals the relationships between the print culture of the early twentieth century and the mass digitisation of this material ongoing since the early 2000s.
No Such Book: Legal Deposit, Rejected Items, and the Ideal of the Universal Repository
Arguments for the legal deposit of books—the process by which a select group of libraries receives all copyrighted publications gratis, and preserves them for posterity—are typically founded upon egalitarian principles. Indiscriminate conservation of absolutely everything is legal deposit’s chief recommendation as an archival practice. However, legal deposit is also marked both by debates around what should be included in these (elite) libraries, and by a relatively unexamined history of rejection. Plays, novels, almanacs, sheet music, digital media: these materials, among others, have challenged not just the practical implementation of legal deposit, but also its catholic ideals. This paper will use titles rejected from British deposit libraries as the basis for a radical methodology for examining ephemerality, canonicity, national print cultures, and the universal repository. Examining items rejected from legal deposit brings currently high-status items (such as novels and plays) into dialogue with items that remain neglected to this day (such as almanacs and sporting manuals); it also illuminates the negative formulation of concepts of print’s value, which comprise exclusion—the ‘no-such-books’ that will not be preserved—as well as positive decisions. At the paper’s centre are copyright debates in 1818, when publishers and authors complained that deposit libraries, including those at Oxford and Cambridge, rejected too many books. Library representatives were then forced to justify their acquisition practices in the House of Commons. These parliamentary records provide an unexpected location for disavowals and defences of the period’s key print forms, including the novel, as well as for meditations on the universal repository in theory and in practice.
John Rodker and the Failures of Print
This paper opens with an overview of the humbler histories of print recently offered by scholars such as Leah Price, Lara Cohen, and Trish Loughran. Arguing that we have over-estimated print’s power, these critics highlight instead the failure of books to furnish individual interiority, foster imagined communities, or even be read at all. What, if anything, could be radical about these new accounts of print’s inefficaciousness? To answer this question, this paper turns to the 1920s to consider a constellation of projects undertaken by poet, publisher, and editor John Rodker. Though Rodker collaborated with major modernists such as Pound and Joyce, he has largely been left out of literary histories of that movement — ostensibly because of the frankly sexual content of his writing and of his subscription-based Casanova Press, which produced luxury editions of historical erotica. We might thus associate Rodker with the promises of radical print and book shop counter-culture, yet I argue that Rodker himself grappled through the 1920s with his own lived sense of print’s failures. Indeed, Rodker envisioned a future without print and a public undivided by literacy; he ceased writing and publishing himself in the early 1930s. Drawing on his publisher’s papers, editorial correspondence, and the dream journals he kept during his psychoanalysis, I reconstitute Rodker’s experience of the limits of print and suggest how his work indicates the radical promise of book history’s own turn from authorial geniuses to uncelebrated publishers/editors/readers and, most recently, to non-readers.
The Henry Miller Literary Society: Subverting Censorship in 20th Century America
Eric C. Loy
Published in 1934 in Paris by Obelisk Press and an instant classic for the European world that produced the book, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer was “immediately famous and immediately banned in all English-speaking countries” (Shapiro ix). Three decades later, Grove Press published and released an American edition, which led to dozens of obscenity lawsuits in more than twenty states—a legal quagmire not settled until 1964 by the U.S. Supreme Court decision that vindicated Tropic as a work of literature.
Through an archival excavation of original correspondence and official publications currently stored at the University of Minnesota, this presentation recounts the genesis and development of the little-known Henry Miller Literary Society (HMLS) as it represents and participates in the cultural shifts surrounding Miller’s and Tropic’s tumultuous history of reception in the United States. The society, founded by Minneapolis printer Eddie Schwartz in 1958, comprised a grassroots effort for the publication and promotion of Miller in his own country, in his own time. Examination of letters between Schwartz and Miller as well as the society’s newsletters and other publications reveal a highly motivated and coordinated campaign for the cultural and academic acceptance of Miller’s work.
Accordingly, primary documents will be presented to illustrate the society’s historical narrative of subverting literary censorship and their support for one of American literature’s most radical figures. This account of the HMLS thus engages radical book history twofold: by recovering lost or suppressed narratives of censored literature and through the proposed model of an archive of documents to tell such a story. Invited roundtable discussion will focus on the continued importance of material archives and on strategies for editing primary documents in a political context.
From Shameless Hussy to Kitchen Table: Women in Print History
The first editions of Pat Parker and Ntozake Shange’s first books, Child of Myself (1971) and For colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf (1975), share a surprising intimacy: they were both run off the same AB Dick 360 offset press in poet-publisher Alta Gerrey’s garage. Alta’s Shameless Hussy Press, founded in 1969, produced bold chapbooks with a philosophy of minimal editing and maximum exposure. A decade later, Barbara Smith co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which published key feminist texts such as Home Girls (1983) and This Bridge Called My Back (1983, 2nd ed.). Both presses helped catalyze the spread of black feminist discourse and writing by radical women of color, but they also depended on DIY methods and a very small labor force—mostly unpaid—for production and distribution. Alta carried boxes to local Bay Area bookstores, while Kitchen Table used longtime volunteer Lucretia Diggs’ home address for years because she was such an integral part of daily operations. Feminist print circuits in the 1970s-80s were bound to the daily lives of the women who made them work, and scholarship on radical print history offers a unique opportunity to examine this interconnectivity. Using the daily operations of these two presses as case studies—with archival evidence from UCSC McHenry Library (Shameless Hussy) and the Lesbian Herstory Archives (Kitchen Table)—this paper theorizes radical women’s print history as a history of radical everyday actions by women who believed in the power of print.