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November 2013

Ulrike Stark (University of Chicago), Benares Beginnings: Print Modernity, Book Entrepreneurs, and Cross-Cultural Ventures in a Colonial Metropolis

November 15, 2013 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Allen Auditorium, Allen Library

Scholars of Indian book history, as Nile Green has recently argued, have tended to privilege the study of texts, reading, and ideas over materiality and technology. In the focus on “print culture” questions of global technology transfer, the circulation of material commodities, and the economics of book production have often been overlooked. Taking a cue from Green, this paper explores the early decades of printing and publishing in Benares through the dual lens of textuality and technology. The first part…

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December 2013

Leah Price (Harvard University), Books as Social Media

December 2, 2013 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Husky Union Building 145
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January 2014

Meredith McGill (Rutgers University), Literary History, Book History, and Media Studies

January 16 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Communications 120

In this talk I address the opportunity afforded by the digital turn to reimagine the relationship of book history and literary studies.  Reviewing the disciplinary history of the interdisciplinary field of book history, I argue that the proliferation of digital facsimiles of printed texts calls for a renewed investment in bibliography’s attention to cultural transmission—its development of a critical language for weighing the difference between the ideality of the literary text and the material history of its production. Will the…

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March 2014

Andrew Piper (McGill University), Reading’s Refrain: From Bibliographic to Topological Reading

March 11 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Yukon Pacific Room, UW Club

In this talk I will discuss what it means to move beyond the book as the primary interface for reading in an electronic environment. What can the networked representation of texts tell us about language, narrative, and textuality? Exploring a host of new work that uses computational network analysis to study the history of literature, I will be emphasizing the way reading topologically changes our understanding of three primary analytical categories: the scale at which we read; the contingency or…

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Elaine Treharne (Stanford University), ‘Latent Adjacencies’ in Manuscript and Digital Technologies

March 13 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Yukon Pacific Room, UW Club

The lecture will examine medieval manuscripts as representative of the broader category of The Book. It will focus on how we might seek to exploit the fullest interpretative potential of the manuscript volume, both as an original textual artefact and in facsimile form. Building on recent research, I will show how the gaps and spaces within the book and in the midst of its textual components are as important as the words and images we tend to privilege in scholarship.…

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Society for Textual Scholarship Annual Meeting

March 20 - March 22
Various locations around campus

Featuring keynote lectures by Johanna Drucker (UCLA), David Scott Kastan (Yale), and Sheldon Pollock (Columbia); plenary panels on race and publishing with George Bornstein (Michigan) and George Hutchinson (Cornell), and on ‘evolution’ in textual scholarship with Paul Eggert (New South Wales), David Greetham (CUNY Graduate Center), and Randall McLeod (Toronto); and a workshop on digital editing and medieval textuality with H. Wayne Storey and John Walsh (Indiana).

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May 2014

Ann Blair (Harvard University), In the workshop of the mind: collaborative relationships in early modern Europe

May 14 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Communications 120

Today we are well aware of the collaborative nature of intellectual work: the majority of scientific papers are co-authored; in the humanities interdisciplinary initiatives and digital methods of research have all encouraged collaboration. We generally have the sense that collaborative work is a recent development, that in the past scholarship was a solitary activity. Indeed in paintings and descriptions of the early modern period scholars were typically depicted working alone, but the working papers and letters that survive tell a…

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Megan Sweeney (University of Michigan), Life Sentences: Women Prisoners Reflect on Reading

May 20 @ 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Communications 120

During the late 1960s, male prisoners at San Quentin circulated handwritten pages of The Communist Manifesto by way of a clothesline strung from cell to cell.  Today, by contrast, women prisoners frequently circulate devalued genres such as narratives of victimization, African American urban fiction, and Christian self-help books.  Although this contrast creates anxiety among some scholars and activists, I have learned—from conducting extensive interviews and group discussions with ninety-four women prisoners—that the contrast indicates far more about the climate for…

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October 2014

Jacob Soll (USC), Beyond Habermas: News in the Secret Sphere

October 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Communications 120

Jacob Soll (History, University of Southern California) explores the role of both the state and the nascent public sphere in the genesis of news and information flows in early modern Europe. Habermas’s model of the rise of a public sphere is now beginning to crumble, not only as scholars show much earlier origins of news, information flows, and public opinion, but also as the state emerges as a key player in inventing and managing news. Soll discusses the symbiosis, often odd and…

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November 2014

Andrew Stauffer (Virginia), Traces in the Stacks: The Troubled Archive of Nineteenth-Century Literature

November 21 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Husky Union Building 340

This lecture is based on Andrew Stauffer’s Book Traces project, which aims to get people into libraries to crowd-source the discovery of nineteenth-century books that have been marked and modified by their original owners. Stauffer presents examples of such evidence of use and also considers the changing nature of academic research libraries in the wake of Google. Out of copyright, non-rare, and often fragile due to poor paper quality, nineteenth-century printed books are both richly served and particularly imperiled in the…

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