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Tag: print culture

Steven Carl Smith. An Empire of Print: The New York Publishing Trade in the Early American Republic

Steven Carl Smith. An Empire of Print: The New York Publishing Trade in the Early American Republic. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017. xvi, 244p. ISBN 9780271078519. US$ 99.95 (hardcover).

It has been roughly 35 years since Benedict Anderson posited a connection between “print culture” and the “imagined community” of American nationhood. In the meantime, this relationship between things material (print) and things imagined (nation) has, somewhat paradoxically, become both a widely-held assumption and an incredibly difficult connection to measure and prove. How do we know “nation” when we can’t see it, except for what we can see of its smaller, material parts? Landmark scholarly works on print culture in the early Republic such as Michael Warner’s Letters of the Republic (1990) and Trish Loughran’s Republic in Print (2007) have made considerable waves in the discipline with their varying accounts not only of how, but also when print created and shaped a national community.

Matt Cohen. Whitman’s Drift: Imagining Literary Distribution

Matt Cohen. Whitman’s Drift: Imagining Literary Distribution. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2017. xvi, 269p., ill. ISBN 9781609384760. US$ 65.00

Published as part of the University of Iowa Press’s impressive Whitman Series (edited by Ed Folsom), Matt Cohen’s Whitman’s Drift investigates not only the multitudinous ways by which Walt Whitman distributed his work, but also how the great nineteenth-century poet imagined that distribution. By performing this innovative intellectual maneuver, Cohen is able to take his analysis beyond the realm of Whitman and his poetics and open up new questions about the role of distribution in print culture studies and literary studies more generally.

Bartholomew Brinkman. Poetic Modernism in the Culture of Mass Print

Bartholomew Brinkman. Poetic Modernism in the Culture of Mass Print. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. ix, 272p., ill. ISBN 9781421421346. US $50.00.

Bartholomew Brinkman’s surprising, skillfully argued Poetic Modernism in the Culture of Mass Print is about collecting and collectors. It is about the ways – both mundane and extraordinary – poems are produced, encountered, consumed, and archived. Brinkman sketches a “continuum of collecting practices” from the careful conservation of the book collector (who craves unifying systems and narratives) to the seemingly haphazard accumulations of the scrapbooker (whose interest is less in “completion” than in the pleasures of contrast and juxtaposition) (5).

Flickering of the Flame: Print and the Reformation

Frontispiece of Martin Luther, De Captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae [Argentorati: Ioannis Schotti], 1520.

Flickering of the Flame: Print and the Reformation

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

25 September–20 December 2017

Flickering of the Flame: Print and the Reformation is the fourth exhibition and catalogue that the Reverend Doctor P. J. Carefoote has prepared for the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto, and it is his second of 2017, following directly after his Struggle and Story: Canada in Print (20 March through 9 September; review here). His previous works include Nihil Obstat: An exhibition of banned, censored & challenged books in the West 1491–2000 (2005), adapted into the monograph Forbidden fruit: Banned, censored, and challenged books from Dante to Harry Potter (2007) and Calvin by the Book: A literary commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of John Calvin (2009).

James J. Connolly, Patrick Collier, Frank Felsenstein, Kenneth R. Hall, and Robert G. Hall, eds. Print Culture Histories Beyond the Metropolis

James J. Connolly, Patrick Collier, Frank Felsenstein, Kenneth R. Hall, and Robert G. Hall, eds. Print Culture Histories Beyond the Metropolis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. x, 464p., ill. ISBN 9781442650626. US $90.00.

The 14 essays in this collection originate from a 2013 conference held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, the city depicted in Robert and Helen Lynd’s groundbreaking sociological study, Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture (1929). Muncie, a small city in the American “provinces,” was a fitting place for a conference dedicated to investigating “modern print culture, not from the point of view of urban and imperial centres but from that of provincial locales and imperial peripheries” (5).

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.

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

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

Kristen 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.