AAS Summer Seminar

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 American Antiquarian Society Summer Seminar in the History of the Book in American Culture, whose topic will be "The Global American South and Early American Print Culture."
The seminar will run from Monday, June 14 through Friday, June 18, 2010, at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA. The deadline for applications is March 12, 2010. Details about the seminar, along with application forms, are available at http://www.americanantiquarian.org/sumsem10.htm.

The seminar will convene a group of 20 graduate students, faculty, and others working in the field of print culture to examine what happens when we view the imagined community of U.S. print culture from the vantage point of the South. At a moment when industrial print culture was consolidating itself in the Northeast, "the South" appeared in print in several registers.  While asserting an "American" identity, Southerners represented themselves as a sectional alternative to the nation that boasted a distinctive regional culture while simultaneously celebrating local diversity.  

This seminar will investigate how these complementary practices of national, regional, and local self-definition circulated through the material world of early American print.  How were the South's efforts at sectional self-fashioning, its attempt to lay claim to the nation, and its engagements with the wider world mediated through and influenced by the modalities of book distribution, copyright, authorship, and reading in nineteenth-century America?  The American Antiquarian Society's unsurpassed holdings of printed material both from and about the South-including newspapers and periodicals, political propaganda, illustrations and photographs, and rich collections of Francophone Louisiana materials-will help us to answer these questions.

Of particular interest to literary scholars and historians, the seminar should also appeal to art historians and legal scholars, as well as those researching the multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan, and transatlantic history and culture of the U.S. The seminar will be led by Jeannine DeLombard and Lloyd Pratt. DeLombard is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto. Pratt is Assistant Professor of English at Michigan State University.
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