4 April 2014The Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh is hosting a one-day conference for postgraduates and early-career researchers on the topic of 'Creativity and Commerce in the Age of Print'. Abstracts are due on 5 May and the conference takes place in Edinburgh on 26 July.
This interdisciplinary conference will explore the sometimes-fraught connections between the 'art' and 'trade' of books from the Western invention of printing to today. Are the interests of authors and publishers always opposed, or can they lead to productive forms of collaboration? Does work undertaken for the marketplace necessarily compromise its moral and cultural standing? How does literature become property, and how has authorship evolved between the starving writer of 'Grub Street' and the modern book festival circuit? Can the requirements of the printing and bookselling industries constitute a form of de-facto censorship, determining the types of work that are published and circulated? Send 200-word abstracts to Natasha Simonova.
18 March 2014This Saturday I'll be speaking at the 'Waverley at 200' conference at the University of Dundee, celebrating the bicentenary of Walter Scott's famous novel. Other speakers include Alison Lumsden from the University of Aberdeen and Murray Pittock from the University of Glasgow.
17 February 2014Heading to Cardiff today to see my colleagues Anthony Mandall and Bill Bell. We'll be talking about the Centre for the History of the Book and the possibility of collaboration between the CHB and the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research in Cardiff.
15 February 2014Yesterday I took part in a workshop on "Scotland's Collections and the Digital Humanities", organised by Lisa Otty. It included people from universities, museums, galleries and libraries all over Scotland presenting their digital projects and strategies. Andrew Prescott gave a very interesting keynote lecture, and you can see his slides here. I talked about the Book History BiblioGraph, which is still not quite ready for beta-testing.
3 February 2014The University of Edinburgh are offering a new round of Chancellor's Fellowships, and English Literature has been identified as a "strategic priority area". These superb fellowships offer five years of funding and lead to a permanent position in most cases. It would be wonderful to see some great Romanticists or Book Historians apply for these. More details here.
18 January 2014This week I taught my first classes in the Department of English Literature at Edinburgh. I'm teaching two third-year honours seminars - 'The Gothic' and 'The Subject of Poetry: Marvell to Coleridge'. I also gave a lecture on Ruskin and Pater this week.
1 December 2013Ian Duncan has reviewed Romanticism and Blackwood's Magazine, the collection of essays edited by Robert Morrison and Daniel Roberts to which I recently contributed an essay, in Review 19. He singles out the essays by Nick Mason and me as "highlights of the collection". You can see the full review here.
23 November 2013My public lecture 'Scott in Stone, Byron in Bronze' from a couple of weeks ago, was recorded. You can now listen to it on the Institute of Advanced Studies website. See this page.
18 November 2013This week I'll be travelling to Montreal for a meeting of the multigraph project of the Interacting with Print group. I'm looking forward to seeing all the collaborators for two days of intensive work on this project.
13 November 2013This afternoon at 4.30pm I'll be giving a talk in Durham University's English Department. My title is '"Scattered Odes" in "Shattered Books": Romantic Poets in Victorian Anthologies'
8 November 2013I'll be at the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York tomorrow for their conference on "Sociability and Print Culture". My paper is called "Interpersonal Print".
23 October 2013I'm giving a public lecture tomorrow as part of my fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study in Durham. It's called "Scott in Stone, Byron in Bronze: Poets in the British Pantheon", and it's at 5.30pm in the Birley Room, Hatfield College, Durham.
14 October 2013Today I'm doing a seminar on 'Romanticism and Early Photography: Painting Literature with Light' at Durham's Institute of Advanced Study at 1pm.
11 October 2013I'm appearing at the Durham Book Festival as part of a "Meet the Fellow" event with other fellows from the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University. The event takes place at 10.30am on 13 October in the Town Hall. You can see more details here.
28 August 2013This is my last week at McGill University, my intellectual home for the last eight years. Thanks to all the colleagues, friends and students who made my time here so enjoyable. Next month I'll be starting my fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, and then in January I'll move to the University of Edinburgh full time.
9 August 2013Check out a new set of fifteen video interviews with leading figures in the field of Book History on the Interacting with Print website.
22 July 2013Just back from the annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) in Philadelphia. Mark Algee-Hewitt and I presented the Book History BiblioGraph in public for the first time. There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm for the project, and the feedback we got was very good. Thanks to everyone who came to look at this new tool.
19 June 2013In 2014, I will be moving to the University of Edinburgh, where I have been appointed Reader in English Literature and Director of the Centre for the History of the Book. I've greatly enjoyed the last eight years in Montreal, but I'm happy to be moving back to the UK and I'm excited about the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
27 May 2013Next week I'll be in Venice for the joint NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA conference on Victorian Studies. I'll be giving a paper and taking part in a seminar called 'Knowledge on the Mantelpiece'. You can see the seminar papers here. The seminar is being organised by Alan Rauch, who has also set up a blog about it here.
9 May 2013New Publication. My article '"We Solemnly Proscribe this Poem": Performative Utterances in the Romantic Periodicals' has appeared in the European Romantic Review. In it, I argue that many of the characteristic procedures of periodical writing in the Romantic period, such as accusing, ridiculing, insulting, libelling, condemning, judging, applauding, indicting, recommending, advising, or censuring, are best understood as performative utterances. Once we recognise this, we can see the periodical writers grappling with questions of authority, style and accountability, as they formulate a self-authorising style that will enforce their pronouncements. If your institution subscribes, you can access the article here; there are also a limited number of copies available to non-subscribers here.
7 May 2013Today I'm giving a lecture for the Friends of the McGill Library, on 'The History of Celebrity'. The lecture takes place in the Colgate Room of the Rare Books and Special Collections Division, McLennan Library, at 5.30pm. Friends of the Library may RSVP to 514-398-4681 or email@example.com. The library has produced this rather nice poster to advertise my talk.
1 May 2013Yesterday the Interacting with Print group met for its annual Away Day in Montreal. We discussed our programme of events for next year, reviewed the progress of our different research projects, and made plans to apply for a renewal of our funding from FQRSC.
22 April 2013Here's a picture of me introducing Alberto Manguel at the Faculty Club of McGill University last month. He gave a superbly wide-ranging, erudite and compassionate lecture about 'The Uses of Curiosity', suggesting that curiosity has always been divided into 'good' and 'bad' curiosity, and that the division has often been made along gendered lines.
12 April 2013Last night I joined a fascinating group of storytellers at an event called 'Ten Stories (and more) about Markets, Creativity and Transformative Possibilities', organised by the Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas and the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management. The event brought together people working in management and the arts within and beyond the academy. The other speakers were: Nancy Adler (S. Bronfman Chair in Management), Darin Barney (Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship), Tyrone Benskin (MP for Jeanne-Le Ber and former Director, Black Theatre Workshop), Bettina Forget (Artist and Owner/Director, Visual Voice Gallery), David Brackett (Associate Professor and Area Chair, Music History), Henry Mintzberg (John Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies (Strategy and Organization)), Roger Parent (President, Realisations), Jui Ramaprasad (Assistant Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management), and Roy Surette (Artistic Director, Centaur Theatre).
18 March 2013This Wednesday, I'll be introducing Alberto Manguel when he gives the keynote lecture at the symposium organised by McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections Division called "Meetings with Books". His lecture is called "The Uses of Curiosity" and it takes place at 5.30pm on Wednesday 20 March in the Ballroom of the Faculty Club on McTavish Street.
14 March 2013Earlier this week I gave a presentation at the Dept of English Faculty Colloquium at McGill about the work of the Interacting with Print research group. Here's part of my presentation.
28 February 2013The Interacting with Print research group is hosting a conference on 'Interpersonal Print' on 21-22 March in Arts 160 at McGill University. The speakers are: Angela Borchert (Western), Michael Gamer (University of Pennsylvania), Denise Gigante (Stanford University), Matthew Grenby (University of Lancaster), Leslie Howsam (Windsor), Jon Klancher (Carnegie Mellon), Jon Mee (Warwick University), and Catherine Sama (University of Rhode Island). For more details, including the schedule and abstracts, see here.
4 February 2013I'm heading to Toronto later this week to give a talk at the University of Toronto's Work in Nineteenth-Century Studies forum (WINCS). I'll be discussing photographic illustrations to Wordsworth's poems, and how they structure the reader's/viewer's experience of time. My paper is called 'Illustration, Renovation and Obsolesence: Photographic Illustrations of Wordsworth' and it's at 5pm on Thursday in the Jackman Humanities Building, room 616. You can see more details here.
29 January 2013New Publication. My essay on 'Blackwood's "Personalities"' appears in a new collection of essays called Romanticism and Blackwood's Magazine: An Unprecedented Phenomenon, edited by Robert Morrison and Daniel S. Roberts. This is the first collection of essays devoted to the place of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in the Romantic period. It includes essays by almost all the scholars who have worked on Blackwood's in recent years and should be a landmark publication in the modern reassessment of Blackwood's and Romantic periodicals more generally. My essay is about the discourse of 'personalities', or ad hominem attacks, in the magazine's early issues. I reconstruct the debate about personalities in the Romantic periodical press, and argue that Blackwood's sought to transform this debate by offering a radical new account of the relationship between authors and their works.
16 January 2013Interacting with Print held a graduate work in progress symposium yesterday, with excellent papers from four graduate students working on aspects of book history in Europe and America between 1700 and 1900. You can see abstracts here.
7 January 2013Just back from the MLA in Boston, where I took part in a great roundtable discussion on 'Romantic Media Studies' organised by Lauren Neefe and Yohei Igarashi. Also taking part were Miranda Burgess, Mary Helen Dupree, Kevis Goodman, Celeste Langan, and Maureen McLane. You can see more about the roundtable, including our preliminary statements, on the "mediageist" website Lauren and Yohei put together.
7 January 2013Notes and Queries has published a review of my edited collection of essays Romanticism and Celebrity Culture, by John Gardner. He writes: "this collection of twelve essays examines a period when 'celebrity' shifted from being something that you possessed to something you could be. [...] the significance of this book is that it strikingly blends 'interdisciplinary breadth with historical specificity' by including essays on fashion, theatre, music, boxing, art, literature, and just being famous." He concludes: "The strength of this collection is in its diversity and in the fact that each essay presents new information and subjects. In some ways it is a fascinating commonplace book, diverse, rich, and full of memorable insights." You can see the whole review here (doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjs265).
Romanticism and Celebrity Culture
Byron's Romantic Celebrity
Blackwood's Magazine, 1817-1825
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