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Tag: print culture

Natasha Simonova. Early Modern Authorship and Prose Continuations: Adaptation and Ownership from Sidney to Richardson

Natasha Simonova. Early Modern Authorship and Prose Continuations: Adaptation and Ownership from Sidney to Richardson. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. viii, 232p., ill. ISBN 9781137474124. £55 (hardback).

What does Fifty Shades of Grey have in common with Sidney’s Arcadia? The question might at first seem absurd, but Natasha Simonova’s new volume situates both texts within a long tradition of prose continuations, or what we today might call “fan fiction” – continuations of a narrative written by someone other than the story’s original author. This study of prose continuations from the late sixteenth through the mid-eighteenth century provides an intelligent and nuanced intervention in the history of authorship.

Kimberly Johnson. Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England

Kimberly Johnson. Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014. 248p., ill. ISBN 9780812245882. US $59.95 (hardcover).

Kimberly Johnson’s Made Flesh makes clear the goal of her work in its striking and direct opening sentence: “This is a book about how poems work, and about how the interpretive demands of sacramental worship inform the production of poetic texts” (1). Johnson sets her project apart from other critical texts on post-Reformation sacramental poetics, which aimed to do this very thing, but failed, as Johnson posits, to truly engage “the way poems work as literary artifacts” (1).

Alexander Starre. Metamedia: American Book Fictions and Literary Print Culture after Digitization

Alexander Starre. Metamedia: American Book Fictions and Literary Print Culture after Digitization. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2015. 310p., ill. ISBN 9781609383596. US$ 55.00.

Metamedia is part of the University of Iowa Press series Impressions: Studies in the Art, Culture, and Future of Books, edited by Mathew P. Brown. Starre, a German-based American literary scholar, concerns himself with American literature and the dawn of the ebook at the turn of the millennium. “The complex phenomenon of metamediality exhibits the irritations that media change initiated in recent American literature” (29), Starre argues, justifying his particular emphasis on American literature.

Hermann Wellenreuther. Citizens in a Strange Land: A Study of German-American Broadsides and Their Meaning for Germans in North America, 1730–1830

Hermann Wellenreuther. Citizens in a Strange Land: A Study of German-American Broadsides and Their Meaning for Germans in North America, 1730–1830. Max Kade German-American Research Institute Series. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013. xv, 384p., ill. ISBN 9780271059372. US$ 98.95.

A research team from Gottingen, headed by the author, provides us with a study of some 215 early American broadsides produced by Germans in order to shed light on the society of German farmers who settled in Pennsylvania between 1730 and 1830. Contemporary English broadsides are ignored, on the assumption that German society was largely self-contained. “Broadside” is carefully defined as “a sheet that is printed on a single sheet on either one or both sides irrespective of its contents.” There are four chapters, dealing respectively with printers, secular life, religion, and politics.

Kelly Hogan. The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability

Kelly Hogan. The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist AccountabilityDurham: Duke University Press, 2016, 382p., ill. ISBN 9780822361299. US $24.95

Kelly Hogan’s The Feminist Bookstore Movement argues that feminist bookstores were an important mode of feminist theorizing. The central role of lesbians in this movement and their leadership in anti-racist activism and creating models of feminist accountability guide Hogan’s narrative about the rise and fall of this activist-based market intervention.

Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann. The Polish Hearst: Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press

Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann. The Polish Hearst: Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press. University of Illinois Press, 2015. 304 p. ISBN 9780252039096. US $60.

In 1936, Pawel Maloposki published a letter in the “Corner for Everybody” section of his local Polish-language newspaper, writing: “if you once drop by this ‘Corner,’ it is not easy to leave it—so it is not surprising that I too made my home here, and since I did, I want to contribute to its benefit” (151). These lines illustrate Maloposki’s sense of loyalty to a discourse community located within the pages of the newspaper Ameryka-Echo, which is the primary focus of Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann’s groundbreaking book, The Polish Hearst: Ameryka-Echo and the Public Role of the Immigrant Press.

Cheryl Knott. Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow

Cheryl Knott. Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015. x, 312p., ill. ISBN 9781625341785. US $28.95.

Cheryl Knott’s Not Free, Not For All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow is a long overdue study that examines twentieth-century African-American information history and counters the fictive image of American public libraries as community spaces accessible to all. Knott argues convincingly that restricted library access for African Americans was a willful act, codified in state legislative policies that were subsequently enforced by Southern librarians.

Heather Haveman. Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741-1860

Heather Haveman. Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741-1860. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. 432p. ISBN 9780691164403. US $45.00.

Haveman’s work explores the changing ways that American magazine publishing and distribution helped create and shape local communities and, increasingly during the nineteenth century, the trans-local communities that are a hallmark of modern life. Her narration and synthesis of data and scholarship on the evolving genres, contents, infrastructures, and institutional workings of American magazines in chapters two through four alone make her work an important source on magazine production and distribution.

Nicole N. Aljoe and Ian Finseth, eds. Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas

Nicole N. Aljoe and Ian Finseth, eds. Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780813936383. US $29.50 (paperback and ebook); US $59.50 (hardback).

“Books … have life spans and life chances… that correlate positively with the race of the author” argues Joanna Brooks in her brilliant essay, “The Unfortunates: What the Life Spans of Early Black Books Tell Us about Book History.” Brooks is particularly interested in “those substantial, more pricey books of more than forty-eight pages.” Still, we can cautiously extend her insight to other racialized material texts, which face some of the same existential challenges, from “being written, published, sold, bought, read, reprinted, [and] circulated” in the first place to being “collected and preserved” over time.

Jaime Harker and Cecilia Konchar Farr, eds. This Book Is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics

Jaime Harker and Cecilia Konchar Farr, eds. This Book Is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016. ix, 250p. ISBN 9780252081347. US $28.00 (paperback).

The 11 essays assembled by co-editors Jaime Harker (University of Mississippi) and Cecilia Konchar Farr (St. Catherine University) in This Book Is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics affirm the significance of print culture as a form of activism within second-wave feminism. Viewing print as a revolutionary form of self-expression, feminists built a communications network – authors, illustrators, typesetters, editors, publishers, distributors, bookstore owners, reviewers, and readers – dedicated to working collaboratively to produce and promote works by, for, and about women.