Old Books and New Histories
This is an introductory ‘state of the discipline’ textbook suitable for undergraduates or first-year graduate students. It gives a brief overview of what is involved in studying ‘book history’, as well as current theories and controversies. From the preface:
These approaches are made through literary studies, bibliography, and history, disciplines with very different and sometimes conflicting problematics, which converge upon a phenomenon that is simultaneously a written text, a material object, and a cultural transaction – the book.
The book includes the following sections, the contents of which are more or less as they sound.
- 1: Disciplinary Boundaries and Interdisciplinary Opportunities
- 2: Mapping the Interdisciplinarities
- 3: Models of the Book’s Place in History
- 4: Where is the Book in History?
- 5: Cross-Disciplinary Observations: The Mutability of Texts, Print, and Readings
Books & articles to add to reading list
- Janice Radway. Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1984 and A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, literary taste, and middle-class desire. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1997.
- Michele Moylan & Lane Stiles. Reading Books: essays on the material text and literature in America. Amherst: UMass Press, 1996.
- William St. Clair. The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge: CUP, 2004.
- Peter D. McDonald. British literary culture and publishing practice, 1880–1914. Cambridge: CUP, 1997.
- Cyndia Clegg. ‘History of the Book: An Undisciplined Discipline?’ Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), pp. 221–245.
- Joseph Dane. The Myth of Print Culture: Essays on Evidence, Textuality, and Bibliographical Method. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.