Local 18C Grad Conference

I received this today by email.  If 7021 students are interested in the theme, they might double-dip by writing their final paper on this topic. One might think about how print publication “scales up” from other forms of dissemination, for example.  Note that proposals are due in approximately five weeks.


Below please find the CFP for a graduate-student conference at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to be held March 21-22, 2014.
“The Economy of Scales” will be hosted by the Eighteenth-Century Studies Group and the Nineteenth-Century Forum and explores the concept of scale in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Registration is free, and the deadline for submissions is November 1, 2013. For more information, please visit the conference website at
Many thanks,
Adam Sneed & Aran Ruth
Coordinators, Eighteenth-Century Studies Group
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Call For Papers: The Economy of Scales
March 21-22, 2014
3222 Angell Hall
Plenary lectures by Noah Heringman (English, University of Missouri) and Craig Benjamin
(History, Grand Valley State University).
Eighteenth-Century Studies Group & Nineteenth-Century Forum
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
The eighteenth and nineteenth century witnessed the rise of many new modes of inquiry and practice. Often, these new fields required the development, implementation, and standardization of new scales to accompany these practices. This is most evident in the natural sciences: for example, Dalton’s atomic mass unit revolutionized the field of chemistry, Hutton’s idea of deep time that of geology, Planck units physics, Ampere’s amp and Volta’s volt electromagnetics, and so on. But it also can be said for aesthetic and cultural practices: consider the different “scales” organizing ideas of the picturesque and the sublime. At one moment in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, the scientifically-minded narrator pauses to reflect on the critical relation between one’s scale of inquiry and one’s interpretive practice:

Even with a microscope directed on a water-drop we find ourselves making interpretations which turn out to be rather coarse; for whereas under a weak lens you may seem to see a creature exhibiting an active voracity into which other smaller creatures actively play as if they were so many animated tax-pennies, a stronger lens reveals to you certain tiniest hairlets which make vortices for these victims while the swallower waits passively at his receipt of custom.

Following Eliot’s lead, this interdisciplinary conference will explore the “economy” of scales in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, that is, the manner in which different scales — temporal and/or spatial, whole or part, macroscopic or microscopic, human or non-human, and local, national, or international — influence cultural, historical, literary and scientific practices in these periods. How do different scales influence our current understanding of these practices? What were the various scales, metrics, or ranges employed by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century figures? How did these scales organize these figures’ understanding of their world? How did these scales direct cultural or scientific inquiry towards certain objects or areas of interest over others? What influence did they have on interpretive practices? How does scale factor in the way we approach eighteenth-and nineteenth century texts, artifacts, and practices now?
The Eighteenth-Century Studies Group (ECSG) & Nineteenth-Century Forum (NCF) are graduate interdisciplinary groups at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. We welcome contributors from all disciplines, such as History, Art History, Literature, and Comparative Literature on a wide range of topics. This is a two-day graduate student conference; submissions of either individual papers of full panels are welcome.
Themes could include, but are not limited to:
● Spatial and temporal scale
● Micro-histories and “big history”
● Time and nostalgia
● Scale and academic periodization
● Close and Distant Reading
● Scale and the archive
● Scale in scientific thought and practice
● Scale and material culture
● Local and Global
● Cartographical approaches
● Representations of Landscape and Nature
● Scale and Politics
● Micro and Macro Economics
● Scale and Theological Thought
● Scale and Print Culture(s)
● Scale and aesthetics
● Scales of Governance
● Scale and genre
Please send an abstract or proposal of 300-500 words to aranruth@umich.edu
or adsneed@umich.edu by November 1, 2013. Informal inquiries are also welcome.
3222 Angell Hall
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
435 State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

[As posted on SHARP-L, the listserv for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, by Eric Holzenberg, ejh@grolierclub.org]

The Grolier Club of New York, America’s oldest and largest society of enthusiasts in printing and the graphic arts, is seeking two talented, motivated, enthusiastic, self-directed, and detail-oriented administrative professionals to coordinate the Club’s distinguished 130-year-old series of publications, and exhibitions. 


 Since its founding the Grolier Club has published over five hundred books and exhibition catalogues—some of them now the standard references in their fields—on such subjects as photography, William Blake, Mayan writing, Albrecht Dürer’s alphabet book, and the well-known “Grolier hundred” selections in literature, science, and medicine. Many of the publications have been printed and designed by the leading book artists and typographers of the past and present, including Theodore Low De Vinne, D. B. Updike, Bruce Rogers, Stanley Morison, Joseph Blumenthal, the Mardersteigs, and Jerry Kelly.

Duties & Responsibilities

Reporting to the Director, the Publications Manager will

•       Oversee the daily operations of a program producing seven to ten titles a year, including checklists, catalogues, monographs, and periodicals

•       Lead initiatives in the design and implementation of digital applications pertaining to the Club’s publications and communications, including acting as webmaster for the Club’s website

•       Communicate with Grolier Club member curators and others about publications relating to Club exhibitions and other activities, enforcing deadlines and maintaining form and content standards

•       Edit for press those publications bearing the Grolier Club imprint

•       Act as liaison to contributors, authors and others involved in the editorial process of non-Club publications

•       Communicate with the Club’s distributor about inventory and marketing of Grolier Club publications to non-members

•       Oversee the Administrative Assistant in fulfilling publications orders from Grolier Club members

•       Act as primary staff liaison to the Grolier Club Committee on Publications, assisting the chair of that committee with the preparation of monthly and annual reports, among other duties

•       Serve as chief editor of the annual Gazette of the Grolier Club, and the annual Club “Yearbook,” soliciting contributions, evaluating and editing submissions, and overseeing production


•       Advanced degree in a relevant area of the humanities, or equivalent experience

•       3-5 years of related print and web editing experience, ideally in an academic or scholarly environment

•       Excellent writing and organizational skills

•       Proven negotiation and project management skills

•       Demonstrated experience using standard computer word processing and design programs, and web editing tools

•       Strong interpersonal skills

•       Ability to work independently in a time-sensitive environment with multiple and conflicting priorities

A background in bibliography and/or book history is desirable.

Salary from $65,000, depending on experience. Compensation package includes 15 days paid vacation, retirement plan through TIAA/CREF, and comprehensive health/dental care.

Send résumé, cover letter, and the names of three references to:

Publications Manager Search Committee

 The Grolier Club

 47 East 60th Street

 New York, NY 10022

Email applications (to gcpubmgr@gmail.com) are preferred. Applications received prior to October 15 will be given first consideration. 

More information on the Grolier Club and its programs can be found on our website: www.grolierclub.org.




The Club was one of the first organizations in America to treat books and prints as objects worthy of display, and since 1884 the Club has mounted more than eight hundred exhibitions on topics ranging from Blake to Kipling, from chess to murder mysteries, from Japanese prints to Art Nouveau posters.

Reporting to the Director, and in consultation with the Committees on Public Exhibitions and Members’ Exhibitions, the Exhibitions Manager administers all aspects of the Grolier Club’s programs of public exhibitions (four annually) and members’ exhibitions (five annually), including registration, preparation/setup, and PR.  

 Duties & Responsibilities  

•       Registration, including requesting loans from other libraries or individuals for public exhibitions; all correspondence related to the loan of material; processing of loan, insurance and transportation forms.

•       Preparation and support, including maintaining and coordinating calendars for the Public Exhibitions and Members’ Exhibitions programs; advising curators on exhibition procedures and design; assisting in the editing and revising of catalogue texts and exhibition label copy; supervising and participating in exhibition set-up; maintaining supplies of exhibit materials; creating and maintaining guidelines and standards for curators of Grolier Club exhibitions.

•       Public Relations, which includes working with the Club’s PR consultant in the creation and/or editing of printed and online press releases; and development of public relations strategies. Duties in this area also include maintaining mailing and press contact lists; assembling and distributing press packets; maintaining and sending updates to email distribution lists; updating the exhibitions pages of the Grolier Club website, and posting to the Club’s Facebook page and other social media as appropriate.  

 This position supervises one part-time conservator on an as-needed basis, and oversees a corps of member volunteers in all aspects of exhibition setup.  


•       Bachelor’s degree or higher in one of the humanities.

•       3-5 years of relevant experience in the preparation, mounting, and promotion of exhibitions of rare materials, in an academic or scholarly environment.

•       Excellent writing and organizational skills.        

•       Proven negotiation and project management skills.

•       Demonstrated experience using standard computer word processing, web editing, and design tools.

•       Experience in the creation of online exhibitions.

•       Ability to work independently in a time-sensitive environment with multiple and conflicting priorities.

 A background in bibliography and/or book history is desirable.  

Salary from $65,000, depending on experience. Compensation package includes 15 days paid vacation, retirement plan through TIAA/CREF, and comprehensive health/dental care.

Send résumé, cover letter, and the names of three references to:

Exhibitions Manager Search Committee

 The Grolier Club

 47 East 60th Street

 New York, NY 10022

Email applications (to gcexhibitionsmgr@gmail.com) are preferred. Applications received prior to October 15 will be given first consideration. 

More information on the Grolier Club and its programs can be found on our website: www.grolierclub.org.

Eric  Holzenberg


The Grolier  Club

47 East 60th  Street

New York,  NY  10022

phone:  212/838-6690 ext. 1

fax:  212/838-2445

e-mail: ejh@grolierclub.org

website: www.grolierclub.org

Kids Lit in the News

This summer, NPR compiled a reader list of the “best-ever” young adult fiction–and faced a blizzard of criticism that the list was too white.  Salon summed up the controversy and analyzed the blame.  What do you think of this list and the way in which it was compiled?  How would you generate such a list?  And what are your personal favorites?

BBC News commented on the not surprising (to me) idea that Roald Dahl’s books for kids can be awfully bleak.  What did surprise me is the outrage in the comments.  Many readers clearly thought this was an insult, and did not want a cherished author slighted, or their (faulty?) memories of his work compromised.  Are you a Dahl fan? Does this article bother you?  What do you make of the readers’ responses?

I’m not especially a Harry Potter fan (not a hater, either), so I haven’t read much on J. K. Rowling.  Therefore, I learned a lot about her interesting background and the difficulties she had adapting to her life among the (g)literati in this article from The Guardian.  The big news is that she’s about to publish a novel for adults–and it’s not even fantasy.  The Casual Vacancy, which satirizes small town politics and the English class system, will be available September 27.  I have to admit that I have a kindle copy pre-ordered.  Are you ready for an adult novel from the person responsible for the Potter craze?

Kid Lit Reading Questions

I developed these questions for students to use  when reading, blogging, or otherwise preparing for class discussion.

Just as literature itself always inescapably reflects and enacts power dynamics, so does children’s literature, including educational texts, picture books, and advice to parents.  Values of some sort are always transmitted along with the information and/or entertainment.  This is sometimes easier to see in historical works at some distance from us, although sometimes their very strangeness can make analysis difficult.  When writing or reflecting on literature published anytime, but especially before the Twentieth Century, it may be helpful to reflect upon the following.

  1. What is historical place and time of this text?  What do you know about this period in terms of main political events and its culture? What were the attitudes and beliefs of this time period?
  2. How does this work seem to reflect that historical context?  In what ways (if any) does it seem to deviate from it?
  3. How is it similar to/different from other works (literary or otherwise) from this period?
  4. Who was its target user and /or intended audience, and in what setting it would probably have been used? You may have to make an educated guess; some examples are more obvious than others.
  5. What sorts of language technologies or communication forms are emphasized in your document and what kinds are downplayed or ignored? What does it teach children about reading and/or education, either the how (medium & method) or the what (content)?
  6. What does this work teach children about the world, and their place within it?  What are the limits of this world or sphere?  Is domestic, urban, national or global?  How might the culture of this world be described?  That is, how does it operate, what are its rules, who has power within it, etc?
  7. Look back over your answers to the questions above. Based on these answers, along with anything else that strikes you about the text, how would you describe the cultural politics of your document? That is, who might be empowered in this literature and who might be marginalized?
  1. How does engage the imagination of the child-reader? What fantastical elements are apparent, and how does that fantasy operate in relationship to their real world?  Does it follow similar cultural rules or does it deviate entirely?  What might be the purpose of this alternate reality?
  2. Look closely at the language used.  (Language includes descriptions, images, metaphors, vocabulary–WHAT is being said as well as HOW.)  How do you think this reflects the text’s values?
  3. Is there anything that surprised you about the text?  Did anything strike you as particularly unusual? What might account for this strangeness?

This is a long list of questions, but it is surely not inclusive.  What questions do you think it would be useful for students and other readers to ask when encountering the otherness of children’s literature?

Think that Women’s Studies and the opening of the literary canon mean that gender inequities in publishing are a thing of the past?  Check out these stats, compiled by VIDA: Women In Literary Arts.  The data, which they gathered last year as well, OVERWHELMINGLY suggest a disturbingly deep and widespread bias. Although this caused quite the kerfuffle in literary blogs and in editorials, seemingly little has changed within the last year.

This is interesting (as well as appalling) on many levels.  One puzzle that strikes me: we usually hear about girls being steered away from the STEM fields from an early age.  If young women are rewarded for their prowess in the language arts early in their educations, why is there this reverse at the top levels, where literacy becomes literature?  “Sexism is pervasive” may be an accurate answer, but its grand narrative vagueness is unsatisfying and ultimately unhelpful.  Where is the glass ceiling located?  In MFA programs?  Journalism schools? How is it justified?  Does the feminized construction of the American reader create a backlash against real women writers?  Is the implicitly masculine Romantic genius still a compelling category for understanding literary writing?

The field of Book Studies, with its theories and methods for understanding the nexus of authorship, reading, and publishing, and its ability to look for parallels in the past as well as project the future, is well situated to tackle this problem.  I would like to think that scholars feel some urgency in taking this on.  Let’s not just leave it to the blogosphere.

Ong Resources

Thomas J. Farrell posted this description of his extensive bibliography on Walter Ong on SHARP-L (re-posted with permission):

In the spirit of the Ong Centenary Year, I am making two new Ong-studies resources available in downloadable files at my UMD homepage:

(1) my twelve-category classified bibliography of selected works that can be related in one way or another to Walter Ong’s work; and

(2) an index to accompany the classified bibliography.

The classified bibliography is 160 double-spaced pages in length. It includes an introduction to Ong’s thought and an overview of the twelve categories, which are listed below in this message.

Each bibliographic item in the classified bibliography has an individualized code number consisting of the Roman numeral of the respective code and an Arabic numeral designating its respective number in the alphabetized list in the category. The code numbers are then used in the index.

Here are the twelve categories in the classified bibliography:

Category I:    Selected Works about Orality (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 1-76; see Classified Bibliography: 17-56)

Category II:    Selected Works about Cyclic Thought and Linear Thought (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 138-44; see Classified Bibliography: 57-61)

Category III:    Selected Works about Agonistic Structures (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 42-45, 69-70; see Classified Bibliography: 62-86)

Category IV:    Selected Works about Writing Systems (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 77-114; see Classified Bibliography: 87-88)

Category V:    Selected Works about Written Authorship (see Classified Bibliography: 88-91)

Category VI:    Selected Works about the Art of Memory (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 33-36, 136-52; see Classified Bibliography: 92-93)

Category VII:    Selected Works about Commonplaces and Composing (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 107-10; see Classified Bibliography: 94-100)

Category VIII:    Selected Works about Reading (see Classified Bibliography: 101-03)

Category IX:    Selected Works about Visuality (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 115-21; see Classified Bibliography: 104-20)

Category X:    Selected Works about the Inward Turn of Consciousness (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 174-76; see Classified Bibliography: 121-26)

Category XI:    Selected Works about the Quantification of Thought (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 127; see Classified Bibliography: 127-29)

Category XII:    Selected Works about Print Culture (see Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY: 115-35; see Classified Bibliography: 130-60)

As you can see from the parenthetical information about each category listed above, ten of the twelve categories are keyed to specific parts of Ong’s book ORALITY AND LITERACY: THE TECHNOLOGIZING OF THE WORD (2002 ed.), which has gone through more than thirty printings in English and has been translated into eleven other languages.

Either URL in the signature below will connect you to my UMD homepage, where you can check out these two new resources if you want to.


Thomas J. Farrell
Professor Emeritus
Department of Writing Studies
University of Minnesota Duluth
Email: tfarrell@d.umn.edu
Homepage: http://umn.edu/home/tfarrell
Homepage: http://www.d.umn.edu/~tfarrell

This circulated on SHARP-L. I am reposting with permission of Ivan Gulkov.

Mr. Gulkov explains,

What I managed to find out about this video:

The 75 pound book was handscribed on 965 sheets of calf velum, in
version of fraktur specifically designed by Martin Wilke
(1903-1993), bound in thick wooden boards, decorated with an
engraved, cast iron plate. The order came from Dillinger Hütte and was
worked on by an unnamed smith from Köln. The work was finished by
April 20th 1936, and presented to Fuhrer on his 47th birthday.

The video above is from a film “Das Buch der Deutschen”, that was
first shown along with a longer feature “Kaiser von Kalifornien” on
the July 21th, 1936. The original footage is stored in the
“Bundesrepublik Deutschland” archive at Koblenz.

Contrary to expectations, the book did not last for a 1000 years,
and was lost at the end of the war…much like the third Reich


Zeitungsausschnitt aus dem Jahr 1936. Abgedruckt in: Jürgen von der
Wense: Blumen blühen auf Befehl. Aus dem Poesiealbum eines
zeitungslesenden Volksgenossen 1933–1944. München 1993, S. 92.

Claudia Koonz, The Nazi conscience. Harvard University Press, 2003

When I wrote him for permission to repost, he kindly provided me with this extra information:

A couple more links that might prove useful:

An “Ordinary Fascism” documentary by Mikhail Romm (1965, USSR)
This is where I found the recovered footage.
Available on YouTube with English subtitles, and I can’t recommend it enough.

The archive that holds the complete film (sadly not easily accessible to the public)

Dillinger Hütte – German steel manufacturer that supplied the ore

Haus der Kunst (museum) that that featured the book in an exhibition of the “Breath of German Genius” right next to the Gutenberg bible.

Marting Wilke – type designer who’s blackletter fraktur won the competition and was used as the main book hand. Naturally, he didn’t boast this dubious honor, and is known only for his script fonts.

The Emperor of California