Material Texts

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This seminar brings together from various disciplines scholars who work on the history of the book and the study of material texts in order to place the technical and bibliographical study of text objects in dialogue with cultural studies and both the textually- and the materially-oriented humanist disciplines more broadly.  Over recent decades, book history has emerged as a necessarily and productively interdisciplinary field; with this in mind, this seminar focuses on the interpretation of material textual objects from an array of disciplinary perspectives.  Our aim is to provide a clearinghouse for emerging methods and work, and a nexus for scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to discuss and pursue shared interests in the study of the book and the material text.

The seminar meets at 5:30pm on varying days of the week, followed by an optional dinner at 7:00pm. Both the seminar meeting and dinner are at Faculty House.

Professor Joseph A. Howley

Karla Nielsen

Sierra Eckert

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.




10/05/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
Paper Publics and Material Textual Affiliations
Jonathan Senchyne, The Information School, University of Wisconsin -- Madison
Speaker Link Abstract

10/25/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
"I hope some valued scraps to gain": American readers and their commonplace books of poetry in the nineteenth century
Amanda Watson, New York University
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11/30/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
The Legacy of the Bibliographic Press Movement: Lessons from Carl P. Rollins & the Teaching Presses at Yale University
Katharine M. Ruffin, Wellesley College
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02/13/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
The Transatlantic Thesis Defense
Aaron Hyman, Johns Hopkins University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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03/08/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
Books in Exile
Stephanie Frampton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Speaker Link Abstract

04/05/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
Nineteenth-century ‘Piracy’ and the Story of Copyright Resistance
Monica F. Cohen, Barnard College, Columbia University
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04/12/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
Etched in Wax: Technics, Memory, and Wax Tablets in the Lyrics of Baudri of Bourgueil
Mary Franklin Brown, University of Minnesota
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