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Products for grant RA-50059-07

NEH Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the Library Company of Philadelphia
John Van Horne, Library Company of Philadelphia

Grant details:

The News at the End of the Earth: Polar Periodicals (Book Section)
Title: The News at the End of the Earth: Polar Periodicals
Author: Hester Blum
Editor: Dana Luciano
Editor: Ivy Wilson
Abstract: In Unsettled States, Dana Luciano and Ivy G. Wilson present some of the most exciting emergent scholarship in American literary and cultural studies of the “long” nineteenth century. Featuring eleven essays from senior scholars across the discipline, the book responds to recent critical challenges to the boundaries, both spatial and temporal, that have traditionally organized scholarship within the field. The volume considers these recent challenges to be aftershocks of earlier revolutions in content and method, and it seeks ways of inhabiting and amplifying the ongoing unsettledness of the field. Written by scholars primarily working in the “minor” fields of critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and gender studies, labor studies, and queer/sexuality studies, the essays share a minoritarian critical orientation. Minoritarian criticism, as an aesthetic, political, and ethical project, is dedicated to finding new connections and possibilities within extant frameworks. Unsettled States seeks to demonstrate how the goals of minoritarian critique may be actualized without automatic recourse to a predetermined “minor” location, subject, or critical approach. Its contributors work to develop practices of reading an “American literature” in motion, identifying nodes of inquiry attuned to the rhythms of a field that is always on the move. (Description of book: chapter description unavailable)
Year: 2014
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's website
Publisher: New York University Press
Book Title: Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies
ISBN: 978147985772

Ship of Death: A Voyage That Changed the Atlantic World (Book)
Title: Ship of Death: A Voyage That Changed the Atlantic World
Author: Billy G. Smith
Abstract: It is no exaggeration to say that the Hankey, a small British ship that circled the Atlantic in 1792 and 1793, transformed the history of the Atlantic world. This extraordinary book uncovers the long-forgotten story of the Hankey, from its altruistic beginnings to its disastrous end, and describes the ship’s fateful impact upon people from West Africa to Philadelphia, Haiti to London. Billy G. Smith chased the story of the Hankey from archive to archive across several continents, and he now brings back to light a saga that continues to haunt the modern world. It began with a group of high-minded British colonists who planned to establish a colony free of slavery in West Africa. With the colony failing, the ship set sail for the Caribbean and then North America, carrying, as it turned out, mosquitoes infected with yellow fever. The resulting pandemic as the Hankey traveled from one port to the next was catastrophic. In the United States, tens of thousands died in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Charleston. The few survivors on the Hankey eventually limped back to London, hopes dashed and numbers decimated. Smith links the voyage and its deadly cargo to some of the most significant events of the era—the success of the Haitian slave revolution, Napoleon’s decision to sell the Louisiana Territory, a change in the geopolitical situation of the new United States—and spins a riveting tale of unintended consequences and the legacy of slavery that will not die. (Publisher's description)
Year: 2013
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Publisher: Yale University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780300194524
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

The Blank Archive (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Blank Archive
Author: Matthew Brown
Abstract: This paper will explore ephemera in British America: its use at the time and its standing now in holdings and collections. Blank forms (single-sheet printing with spaces for handwriting, such as legal forms, indentures, lottery tickets, and so forth) were the bread and butter of colonial printers. Beyond this business interest, how were they valued then and now? Blanks were made to be used: marked up, folded, docketed, torn. This intentional destruction gives pause to the cultural historian interested in questions of value. Yet their role in contracting individuals to the agreed-upon matters involved in the blank form suggests a haunting power in their moment. In book history circles, job printing and blanks have undergone a revitalization of sorts in current scholarship. How might this revitalization challenge literary scholars or how might we reorient questions of value in the worlds of both literary study and textual studies? These will be some of the ideas raised in the talk [ed. note: Jim, you could add to the end of this sentence “drawn from my book project *The Novel and the Blank: Thinking with the Print Shop in British America*"]
Date: 01/08/2014
Conference Name: Modern Language Association Annual Meeting

Bell's Liberties (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Bell's Liberties
Abstract: Public lecture at Rare Book School on the printer of Paine's Common Sense.
Author: Matthew P. Brown
Date: 07/04/12
Location: University of Virginia
Primary URL:

The Whig Interpretation of Media: Sheppard Lee and Jacksonian Paperwork (Article)
Title: The Whig Interpretation of Media: Sheppard Lee and Jacksonian Paperwork
Author: Jordan Alexander Stein
Abstract: Scholars in many different disciplines generally accept that the conceptual abstraction called "the public sphere"—a space of critical self-reflection functioning at least partially independent of state authority—developed coextensively with the rise of print. "Developed coextensively" is, however, somewhat elliptical as a historical explanation; for print—the impression of text and design characters onto paper—is usually taken to be a technology and not an agent. Print cannot be said in any single-handed sense to cause anything, let alone the public sphere.
Year: 2013
Primary URL:
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: History of the Present
Publisher: University of Illinois Press