This seminar considers the production, circulation, and reception of texts. While the bulk of seminar members focus on European and American print culture, Boston-area scholars of other times, places, and/or media are welcome to join our conversation on themes such as publishing, censorship, authorship, copyright, and reading. To learn more, visit the Harvard Book History website.

Upcoming Events

Daniel Blank, Harvard Society of Fellows
CANCELLED: Tense Futures: Shakespeare's Macbeth and Gwinne's Tres Sibyllae
Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 5:15pm

We are sorry to announce that, in response to the updated University guidance on COVID-19, all events and seminars at the Mahindra Humanities Center have been cancelled starting Wednesday, March 11 until further notice. Please check our website and social media for updates as we work to reschedule as much of our events as possible for the fall.
We look forward to seeing you again at Mahindra Center events as soon as possible.

Daniel Blank studies the literature and drama of the early modern period. His book project focuses on theatrical performances at Oxford and Cambridge in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with an emphasis on the understudied relationship between university drama and the Shakespearean stage. He received my PhD in English from Princeton in 2018.

Harvard-Yale Graduate Conference in Book History
CANCELLED: The Stakes of Book History
Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 9:00am

We are sorry to announce that, in response to the updated University guidance on COVID-19, all events and seminars at the Mahindra Humanities Center have been cancelled starting Wednesday, March 11 until further notice. Please check our website and social media for updates as we work to reschedule as much of our events as possible for the fall.
We look forward to seeing you again at Mahindra Center events as soon as possible.

Past Events 2019 - 20

Idan Dershowitz, Harvard University
Shiva Mihan, Harvard University
Ann Blair, Harvard University
Craig Robertson, Northeastern University
Opening Panel and Reception in Book History
Jennifer Chuong, Harvard University
Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania
The Fluid Surface: Marbling and Overmarbling in Early America
Tamara Morsel-Eisenberg, Harvard University
Charles Donahue, Harvard University
Halakhists, Humanists and Legal Codification. Systematizing Jewish Religious Legal Knowledge in the Early Modern Period
Caroline Wigginton, University of Mississippi
Hymncraft: Making Musicbooks and Community from the Native Northeast to Brotherton and Beyond
Erika Boeckeler, Northeastern University
The Image of O in Othello and English Printers' Devices.

Past Events 2018 - 19

David Alworth, Harvard University
David Atherton, Harvard University
Jeffrey Ravel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dana Sajdi, Boston College
New Directions in Book History
Meredith McGill, Rutgers University
Beyond the Anthology: Poetry and Popular Print in the Antebellum US
Mary Carpenter, Queen's University (Emerita)
From Treasures to Trash, or, the Real History of "Family Bibles"
Kinohi Nishikawa, Princeton University
Novel Design: Fran Ross’s Oreo and the Signs of the City
Will Slauter, Université Paris Diderot – Institut universitaire de France
News, Newspapers, and the Limits of Copyright in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Mara Mills, New York University
Ben Reiss, Emory University
Matthew Rubery, Queen Mary University of London
“Histories of Access” panel in “Touch This Page” symposium
Harvard-Yale Graduate Conference in Book History

Past Events 2017 - 18

Jean-Christophe Cloutier, University of Pennsylvania
Stephanie Frampton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hannah Marcus, Harvard University
Si Nae Park, Harvard University
New Directions in Book History
Rachel Buurma, Swarthmore College
Petra McGillen, Dartmouth College
Simon Reader, City University of New York - Staten Island
The Novel and its Working Methods: A Workshop
Jeffrey Miller, Montclair State University
What is a Draft (and Why does it Matter)? The Case of the King James Bible
Earle Havens, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
Laura Larkin, Houghton Library
John Overholt, Houghton Library
David Weimer, Harvard Map Collections
Roundtable on Careers in Special Collections
Earle Havens, Johns Hopkins University
Note to Self: How Gabriel Harvey Read His Renaissance Library
Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago, Harvard University
Arabic Book Culture from Manuscript to Print
Harvard-Yale Conference in Book History: The Book and Beyond

Past Events 2016 - 17

New Directions in Book History
Russell Johnson, University of California, Los Angeles
Grow(ing) Up: The UCLA Library Baby Record Books Collection
Juliet Fleming, New York University
Robert Darnton, Harvard University
The Book Trade and the Demand for Literature in France, 1769-1789
Christopher Canon, New York University
Books without Writing
Jennifer Roberts, Harvard University
The Metamorphic Press: Jasper Johns and the Monotype
Charles Rosenberg, Harvard University
The Body in the Classroom: Anglo-American Textbooks of Physiology and Hygiene, 1800-1920
Roger Chartier, Paris, University of Pennsylvania
Global Cervantes
Lisa Fagin Davis, The Medieval Academy
Broken Books: Digital Methods for Reconstructing Dismembered Manuscripts
Graduate Student Conference
Nana Ariel, Harvard University
Elizabeth Willson Gordon, The King’s University
John Lurz, Tufts University
Mine Özyurt Kılıç, Harvard University
Michelle Alexis Taylor, Harvard University
A Press of One’s Own: Celebrating 100 Years of Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press

Past Events 2015 - 16

Alan Galey, University of Toronto
Ripples on the Surface: Reading Digital Books as Artifacts
Jean-Paul Montagnier, Université de Lorraine, France, and McGill University
The Choirbook Tradition in France from the Early 17th Century to the Eve of the Revolution (ca. 1780)
Peter Mendelsund, Knopf Publishing Group
The Art of the Book Cover
Michael Kelly, Amherst College
Bibliography and Native American Bodies in the Revolutionary Era
Heather Wolfe, Folger Library
Writing Paper and Filing Systems in Early Modern English Households
Scott Mandelbrote, Cambridge University
The Newton Project and the Development of a Digital Edition
András Németh, Vatican Library
Byzantine Appropriation of the Past: The Heritage of Constantine VII Revisited
David Stern, Harvard University
Books as Jews: The Burning of the Talmud, Paris 1241 and Rome 1553
Fifth Annual Harvard-Yale Graduate Conference in Book History

Past Events 2014 - 15

David Henkin, University of California, Berkeley
Hebdomadal Form, Hebdomadal Forms: Diaries, News, and Weekly Rhythms in Nineteenth-Century America
Hannah Marcus, Stanford University
From a Medical Republic of Letters to the Index of Prohibited Books
Dan Cohen, Digital Public Library of America
Considerations for Virtual Bookshelves: Mechanisms for Discovery, Reading, and Serendipity
Daniel Shore, Georgetown University
Cyberformalism and the Philology of Things, 1557-1798
Joseph Rezek, Boston University
What are the Standard Novels? Thoughts on Richard Bentley’s Transatlantic Editions
Paula McDowell, New York University
Revisiting the NYPL Berg Collection Dunciad[s]: "Vociferation" in Manuscript, Print, Typescript, and Digital Media
Giora Sternberg, University of Oxford
Manipulating Information in the Ancien Régime: The View from the Provinces

Past Events 2013 - 14

John Brewer, California Institute of Technology
What's in a Visitors' Book? Social Media and Volcania Tourism in the Nineteenth Century
Eric Slauter, University of Chicago
Walden's Carbon Footprint: People, Plants, Animals, and Machines in the Making of an Environmental Classic
Matthew Kirschenbaum, University of Maryland
Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing
Dan Donoghue, Harvard University
Reading Ambrose's Silence
Jason Peacey, University College London
"Fixed Like a Ballad on the Wall": Printed Lobbying and Public Persuasion in the Seventeenth Century
Himmet Taskomur, Harvard University
Meredith Quinn, Harvard University
The Art of Commentary Writing: Legal Commentaries in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Ottoman Empire / Books and Their Readers in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul
Albertus Horsting, Harvard University
How to Read Augustine According to Prosper of Aquitaine
Paul Duguid, University of California at Berkeley
Getting Information from Books: A View of the 18th Century
Lianbin Dai, Harvard University
Textual Collation and Its Guiding Principles in Eighteenth-Century Evidential Scholarship: Illustrated with Lu Wenchao's (1717-1796) Work
Surekha Davies, Western Connecticut State University
What is a Werewolf? Genres, Practices, and Cataloguing Monsters from the Middle Ages to the Scientific Revolution
Robert Fraser, Open University
Reception, Quantity, and Meaning
Harvard-Yale Conference in Book History

Past Events 2012 - 13

Christina Lupton, University of Warwick
"Contingency and the Eighteenth-Century Page"
Susan Whyman, Princeton University
"Becoming a Bookseller: William Hutton of Birmingham (1723-1815)"
On Islamic books
Benjamin Braude, Boston College
"A Book and a Chapel: Giovanni Nanni's Anthology of Ancient Frauds and Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling Frescoes"
Eric Méchoulan, Université de Montréal and Harvard University
"Amicus lector"
"The Invention of Peer Review"
Ellen Garvey, New Jersey City University and Robert Gross, University of Connecticut
“Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance”
Harvard-Yale Graduate Student Conference in Book History

Past Events 2011 - 12

William Johnson, Duke University
"Publishing without Publishers: Books, Publication, and Community in Rome and Today"
Tom Cummins, Harvard University and Juan Ossio, Universidad Catolica de Peru
“'Created by my Hand:'The Complicated Creation of the Earliest Illustrated Manuscript (1590) from Peru”
David Stern, University of Pennsylvania and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
"The Monk's Haggadah: The Story of a Remarkable Manuscript and the Story of its Discovery"
Marie-Claude Felton, Harvard University
"The Writer, the Press, and the Market: The Rise of Self-Publication in Paris before the Revolution"
Dror Wahrman, Indiana University
"The Media Revolution in Early Modern England: An Artist's Perspective"
Book Historical Approaches to Legal History in the Early American Republic
Matthew Rubery
“Canned Literature: The Book after Edison’s Phonograph”
Harvard-Yale Graduate Student Conference in Book History

Past Events 2010 - 11

Nicholas Daly, University College Dublin
"Bill Stickers Beware: The Frenzy of the Legible in the Victorian City"
Stuart Shieber, Harvard University
"Reading Interfaces and the Future of the Book"
Lewis Hyde, Kenyon College
Book talk: Lewis Hyde, Common as air. Respondent: Robert Darnton
Angela Nuovo, Universita de Udine
“Gian Vincenzo Pinelli (1535-1601) and his Library: book collecting and the Republic of Letters in Late Renaissance Italy”
Ann Blair, Harvard University
Ann Blair discusses her new book, Too Much To Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age
Barbara Sicherman, Trinity College
"Reading Their Way into History: How Books Inspired the Progressive Generation of Women"