New Scholarship in Book History & Print Culture (UTQ Volume 73, Number 4 / Fall 2004)

New Scholarship in Book History & Print Culture (UTQ Volume 73, Number 4 / Fall 2004)

ISSN: 0042–0247
E-ISSN: 1712-5278
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New Scholarship in Book History & Print Culture (UTQ Volume 73, Number 4 / Fall 2004)

Book history and print culture studies have recently been high on the agenda in a wide variety of disciplines. A developing academic field, also variously called ‘the history of books,’ ‘the history of texts,’ or ‘textual studies,’ it involves literary scholars, sociologists, librarians, bibliographers,historians, and others in discussions about the historical circumstances of literary production, transmission, and reception, examining those who wrote and read, as well as those who produced, distributed, and sold various print and manuscript materials. The phrase ‘book history’ evokes a venerable field with its own lengthy history of close attention to the material book, while ‘print culture’ studies is a newer designation, encompassing a range of interdisciplinary theories and methodologies, reliant on the insights of cultural and media studies, theories of representation, the sociology of communities and group formation, and literary criticism.

 

Recent activity at the University of Toronto exemplifies the growing interest in the field. Toronto has become an important centre for new research and collaboration, as evidenced by the founding of the collaborative program in Book History and Print Culture (BHPC) in 2000, the involvement of numerous researchers and institutional resources with the History of the Book in Canada/Histoire du livre et de l’imprimé au Canada (HBIC), and the University of Toronto Press’s introduction of a new series, Studies in Book and Print Culture. Organized by a group of graduate students involved with the BHPC program, the October 2002 ‘New Scholarship in Book History and Print Culture’ conference, at which the papers presented here were first delivered, is further evidence of the University of Toronto’s new engagement in the field. It aimed to redress a perceived lack in the structures of communication and exchange available to the new scholars currently working in this interdisciplinary area. The papers published here are a testament to this emerging field’s diversity of disciplinary approaches and historical and geographical subjects and reflect the conference’s aim to foster dialogue across boundaries. Despite their different subjects and perspectives, they address a network of concerns that can be clustered around a few key topics…(from introduction by Sarah Brouillette and Travis De Cook)

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