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Materialities of American Texts and Visual Cultures

From current historical work on material and visual cultures, to anthropological research on the social life of things and new approaches to seeing and reading in historical scholarship, the study of the physical evidence of culture has become a pressing issue. This interdisciplinary symposium will bring together conservators, curators, and scholars of art history, literary studies, book history and bibliography to reflect on the historical relation between materials, objects, and practices and different forms of visual and textual production in nineteenth-century America.


Thursday April 9 Rare Book and Manuscript Library

(Butler Library, Room 523)

12:30 pm: Welcome and introductory remarks

12:45-2:30 pm: Session 1. Inter-Media Translations

Christopher Lukasik (Purdue University), “The Image in the Text”
Margit Peterfy (University of Heidelberg) “The Author’s Carnival”
Jennifer Greenhill (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), “An undictionarial reading of Mark Twain’s materialities”
Paul Edwards (University of Paris Diderot), “A Persistent Novelty: The Multiple Origins of the American Literary Photobook”
Chair: Marie-Stephanie Delamaire (Columbia University)

2:45-4:15pm: Session 2. Industrialization of Texts and Images

Michael Leja (University of Pennsylvania): “Almanacs and the ‘Image Campaign' of 1840”
Todd Pattison (Northeast Document Conservation Center), “Outside Information: Nineteenth-Century Bookbinding Mistakes”
David Jaffee (Bard Graduate Center), “New York and the Culture of Capital in the Nineteenth Century”
Chair: Paul Erickson (American Antiquarian Society)

4:15 pm-5:00 pm: Coffee
Rare Book and Manuscript Library Hands-on Session

5:00pm Keynote

Jennifer Roberts (Harvard University) “Wood-Work”

6:15pm: Reception (Judith Lee Stronach Center, Department of Art History and Archaeology. Schermerhorn Hall, 8th Floor)

Friday April 10 Department of Art History and Archaeology

Schermerhorn Hal

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