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Month: July 2017

Women in Book History Bibliography

Women in Book History Bibliography. Texas A&M University: 2016. <www.womensbookhistory.org>

Women in Book History Bibliography is a very useful tool for researchers interested in the scholarship devoted to the topic. Compiled by Cait Coker and Kate Ozment, two doctoral students in English at Texas A&M University, it has grown from 165 entries at the time of the web site’s launch on May 2, 2016, to 588 entries as of November 11, 2016.

Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960

Travel-themed cover of Maclean’s magazine. Source: https://tinyurl.com/yans266k

Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960. University of Strathclyde: 2011. <http://www.middlebrowcanada.org/>

The establishment of Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada 1925-1960, as a web-based resource emerged from a research project of the same name by Faye Hammill and Michelle Smith at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In 2015, they also published a monograph on this topic.

The Pulp Magazines Project

Collection of “dime novel” and “nickel weeklies” covers. Source: https://pulpmags.wordpress.com/

The Pulp Magazines Project. Patrick Belk, Nathan Madison: 2011. <http://pulpmags.org/>

The first generation of cooperative, open-access libraries were text-based transcriptions like Project Gutenberg. In the past 20 years digital imaging equipment has improved while the price for it has plummeted. The creation of digital storage/server operations with capacity measured in gigabytes and terabytes (soon in terms of petabytes) makes possible the capture and presentation of image-based files that previously were possible only on microfilm.

The Pulp Magazines Project is an open-access digital collection of pulp magazine content “for the study and preservation of one of the twentieth century’s most influential print culture forms: the all-fiction pulpwood magazine.”

Jeremy Rosen. Minor Characters Have Their Day: Genre and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace

Jeremy Rosen. Minor Characters Have Their Day: Genre and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. vii, 265p. ISBN 9780231177443. US$ 60.00.

Minor Characters Have Their Day investigates a new genre, which Rosen calls “minor-character elaboration,” in which stories from the traditional literary canon are retold from another character’s point of view. Rosen traces the history of the genre from its emergence in the 1960s.  The genre was made particularly visible in the 1980s, and then was embraced by contemporary publishers and readers as a way to draw upon the symbolic capital of the literary canon and “liberate” the voices of marginalized groups in a promotion of liberal individualism.

John Markert. Publishing Romance: The History of an Industry, 1940s to the Present; William A. Gleason and Eric Murphy Selinger, eds. Romance Fiction and American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom

John Markert. Publishing Romance: The History of an Industry, 1940s to the Present. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2016. 334p. ISBN 9780786494903. US$ 40.00.

William A. Gleason and Eric Murphy Selinger, eds. Romance Fiction and American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2016. 437p. ISBN 9781472431530. US$ 50.95.

The 1980s were fraught for feminism and romance. The decade was dominated by the conservative two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose executive order defined the family as one locus for “preserving America’s future.” It included challenges to Roe v. Wade and the feminist sex wars, intense debates over pornography, sexuality, and sexual practices. In this climate, the feminist interest in romance – as genre, narrative structure, and cultural dynamic – shifted to include a new emphasis on the cultural work it might do for women.

Margaret Mackey. One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography

Margaret Mackey. One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2016. xvi, 567p., ill. ISBN 9781772120394. CAN$ 60.00.

One Child Reading opens with a striking black and white photograph of a young child intently immersed in an open book while stirring something in a pot on the stove. The child’s eyes are firmly on the page of the book, not on the hand wielding a wooden spoon. The text on the right-side page indicates that the child in the photo is the author. “All sighted readers will recognize the invisible dotted line that connects my eyes to the words and images on the page. That virtual line, that indefinable connection between abstract representations and the live imagination of an interpreter, is the subject of this book” (3).

Kristin L. Matthews. Reading America: Citizenship, Democracy, and Cold War Literature

Kristin L. Matthews. Reading America: Citizenship, Democracy, and Cold War Literature. Boston and Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016. 222p. ISBN 9781625342355. US$ 29.95.

In Reading America: Citizenship, Democracy, and Cold War Literature, Kristin Matthews notes the long history of elite leaders connecting reading to citizenship in the United States. She argues that the Cold War marked a high point for this sort of discourse, as American government and cultural elites presented reading as “a duty and a responsibility, the proper performance of which was key to protecting one’s kin and country from America’s enemies” (31).

Eric Gardner. Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture

Eric Gardner. Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 329p. ISBN 9780190237080. US$ 29.95.

With Black Print Unbound, Eric Gardner has significantly advanced the study of African American culture and history while at the same time giving a master class in working across the various methods of inquiry and styles of research gathered under the big tent of print culture studies. Black Print Unbound is a study of the Christian Recorder, the weekly newspaper of the AME Church, as a publication “conceived by African Americans, edited by African Americans, written primarily by African Americans, and largely distributed by African Americans to an almost completely African American audience” (4).