PRINT CULTURE PROGRAM
Our MA specialization reflects the shared Print Culture approaches of faculty working in a range of literary and theoretical fields. We conduct research and teach graduate courses that attend closely to the material and technological aspects of literary history and culture, including the production, dissemination and reception of oral, manuscript, print and new media forms. The Print Culture program brings together scholars working in cultural materialism, book history and manuscript and print culture, as well as studies in media, gender, post-colonialism, intellectual property and globalization, offering graduate students a unique opportunity to pursue specialized research in a growing interdisciplinary field.
The Print Culture faculty has considerable expertise in British and North American literature and culture, both historical and contemporary.
British Literature and Culture
Matt Hussey works on reading and reception in medieval manuscript culture, especially the transition from orality to textuality in Anglo-Saxon literature and the movements between Latin and Old English in vernacular poetry and prose. Betty Schellenberg studies such phenomena as authorship, women's writing, professionalization and the sequel in the context of the burgeoning print culture of 18th-century Britain. Her current research on the correspondence of Samuel Richardson, on the mid-century London-based print trade, and on the emergence of domestic tour publications aims to tease out the complex interrelations of oral, manuscript and print media in this period of the rapid commercialization of English literary production. Diana Solomon studies the reciprocal relationship between theatre and print culture in the long 18th century. Leith Davis’ work centers on the use of print in creating and challenging ideas of national identity in the long 18th century, focusing in particular on the literature and culture of Scotland and Ireland. Her most recent project considers the articulation of transnational affiliations through print in the early-18th-century.
Michelle Levy has explored the phenomenon of collaborative literary production within families during the Romantic period. Her current research into the material culture of Romantic-era Britain continues to examine the vitality of manuscript culture, the construction of the category of the amateur, and the contested meanings of print publication and authorship. Margaret Linley's research interests are in the history of media and technology, 19th-century colonialism and imperialism, and travel writing. Her current projects include an examination of the unique mixed-media phenomenon of the illustrated literary annual. She has a further interest in literary and media theory and cyberculture. Colette Colligan's research focuses on underground print communities based in Paris and London from 1800–1930. Her current projects examine how obscene publications were caught up in the global cultural traffic of new print and visual technology, international trade, and exoticism.
North American Literature and Culture
Carole Gerson and Michael Everton are specialists in North American print culture. For Carole Gerson, print culture, in the Canadian context, involves consistent attention to the creation, dissemination, reception and preservation of literary and other texts in relation to the larger international dimensions of English-language cultural production that have prevailed since the first printing press began operating in Halifax in 1752. Her work with the now completed History of the Book in Canada has brought these issues to the fore, which she is now pursuing in relation to Canadian women writers. Michael Everton's interests are in the historical and ethical features of authorship, publishing and intellectual property in American print culture in the 18th and 19th centuries. His forthcoming book considers the controversies that scandalized the mid-19th-century American print trade, and his current research is on how 19th-century American, British and Canadian publishers' businesses organized and policed the international book trade in the absence of laws governing that trade.
In addition, we have several faculty members not on the Print Culture steering committee who use Print Culture methodologies in their teaching and research. Clint Burnham works on the intersection of digital print culture with questions of the archive, subjectivity and political emancipation. J.D. Fleming is working on the invention and practice of shorthand note-taking, in the late-16th-century, as information technology transforming the relationship between orality and literacy. Jon Smith is currently researching the print culture in which southern "foodways" discourse embeds itself, with a particular interest in magazines and cookbooks that attempt to "restore a lost community" through mimicking older forms of print culture.