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"Histories of Print, Manuscript, and Performance
in America"

June 10-12, 2005

Conference Logo Places are still available for the conference, but the deadline to guarantee registration is 12 noon (ET) on Wednesday, June 8. Please submit your registration with payment as soon as possible. The deadlines for reserving rooms at the two conference hotels have passed. Space might be available in Worcester-area hotels and motels at non-conference rates.

This conference, held under the auspices of the American Antiquarian Society's Program in the History of the Book in American Culture, will examine how the verbal arts of print, manuscript, and performance reflected and influenced each other, often in unpredictable ways, in pre-twentieth-century America. The highly fluid boundaries of print, manuscript, and performance had profound implications for the development of American literature and politics.

More than two dozen speakers will explore these issues in a variety of panel presentations. In addition, Sandra Gustafson, associate professor of early American literature at the University of Notre Dame, and author of Eloquence Is Power: Oratory and Performance in Early America, will deliver the Society's annual James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book, on Friday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m., which will serve as the conference keynote address. The lecture will be open to the public as well as to conference registrants.

Funding from Readex, a division of NewsBank, Inc., will help support conference receptions and reduced registration fees for graduate students.

The list of panels, with descriptions of themes linking the papers, follows. The order of the panels as listed here may not be the order of presentation during the conference.



Friday, June 10, 2005
11-11:30 am Welcome and Introduction (First Baptist Church)
11:30 am-1 pm Benjamin Franklin's Circulations in the Atlantic World

Benjamin Franklin, celebrated as a foundational figure in American culture, achieved his reputation as a printer, postmaster, and diplomat in North America. Yet he was, in his own day, involved in creating transatlantic affiliations, in cultural and informational media, in politics, and in natural philosophy. Taking up Franklin's transatlantic work evident in both manuscript and print, the panelists are considering Franklin in the cosmopolitan context of Atlantic culture and its performances.

Panel chair: Wayne Franklin (English, Northeastern University)

  • Jesse M. Lander (English Department, University of Notre Dame), "Franklin's 'Disputatious Turn': Reading Conversions, Rhetoric, and the Transatlantic Rise of Politeness"
  • Christopher Hunter (Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania), "`Ashamed of No Origin': The Cosmopolitan History of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography"
  • Carla Mulford (English Department, Penn State University), "Savage Eloquence: Benjamin Franklin's Press at Passy, 1782-1783"
1-2 pm Luncheon
2-3:30 pm Manipulating Media

The papers on this panel examine the successful manipulation of verbal media -- and the failures that define success in print, manuscript, and performance.

Panel chair: Robert A. Gross (history, University of Connecticut)

  • David Shields (English and History, University of South Carolina), "Poor Performance: Failure in Print, Manuscript, and Speech"
  • Joan Radner (Literature, American University), "Speaking Our Way to Improvement: Orality, Literacy, and Manuscript Traditions in Northern New England Villages"
  • Susan Williams (English, Ohio State University), "New Voices, New Venues: James Redpath and the Promotion of American Civic Discourse"
3:30-4 pm Break
4-5:30 pm Print, Manuscript, and Performance and the Public Sphere

These three papers all make important contributions to public sphere theory, using analysis of the relations among verbal media to do so.

Panel chair: Michael Warner (English, Rutgers University)

  • Carolyn Eastman (History, UT- Austin), "Making American Audiences in an Eighteenth-Century Commercial Republic"
  • Lloyd Pratt (English and African American Studies, Yale University), "Semiprivate Space and a Democracy of Race"
  • Oz Frankel (Historical Studies, New School University), "The State between Orality and Textuality: Government Reports as 'Orature'"
5:30 pm Reception and dinner (Goddard-Daniels House)
7:30 pm James Russell Wiggins Lecture (Antiquarian Hall)
"The Emerging Media of Early America"
by Sandra Gustafson (English Department, University of Notre Dame)


Saturday, June 11, 2005
9-10:30 am Mediating "Race" (Antiquarian Hall)

The symbolic and social meanings of print, manuscript, and performance were constituted dialectically with concepts of "race." The papers on this panel explore complementary dimensions of the interaction between racial identities and verbal media.

Panel chair: Laura Murray (English, Queen's University)

  • Thomas L. Doughton (Interdisciplinary Studies, College of the Holy Cross), "'Long Wide de Grande Folkes': Slave Literacy and African Participation in the World of Social Communication in Colonial New England"
  • Phillip H. Round (English, University of Iowa), "Authors and Indians: From Performance to Print in Nineteenth-Century Indian Country"
  • Heather S. Nathans (Theater, University of Maryland, College Park), "'Chaos is come again': Othello, Amalgamation, and the Destruction of Pennsylvania Hall"
10:30-11 am Break
11am - 12:30 pm Gendered Histories of Print, Manuscript, and Performance

All three papers on this panel challenge key historiographical assumptions about verbal media, with gender as the fulcrum.

Panel chair: Pat Crain (English, University of Minnesota)

  • Hilary E. Wyss (English, Auburn University), "Native Women and Writing in Colonial New England"
  • Granville Ganter (English, St. John's University), "Is It Oratory?: Women and Public Speech in the 1820s"
  • Joycelyn Moody (English, Saint Louis University), "Silenced Women and Silent Language in Early African- and Anglo-American Newspapers"
12:30-1:30 pm Luncheon (Goddard-Daniels House)
1:30-3 pm Subjectivity and Form (Antiquarian Hall)

The papers on this panel explore the constitution of subjectivity through acts of reading, writing, and performance from the Puritans through the nineteenth century.

Panel chair: David D. Hall (history, Harvard Divinity School)

  • Matthew P. Brown (English/Center for the Book, University of Iowa), "Hand Piety: Devotional Steady Sellers and the Conduct of Reading"
  • Angela Vietto (English, Eastern Illinois University), "Sarah Wentworth Morton, Revolutionary Salonniere to Isolated Romantic Thinker: Changing Values of Verbal Performance and Women's Authorship in the Early Republic"
  • Thomas Augst (English, University of Minnesota), "Scripting the Inner Voice: Diaries and the Performance of Individuality"
3-4 pm Workshop on sources

Workshop, by AAS staff, on research materials for the study of histories of print, manuscript, and performance

  • Georgia B. Barnhill (Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts), and Thomas G. Knoles (Curator of Manuscripts) "Research Materials for the Study of the Spoken Word and Public Performance at AAS"

  • 4-4:30 pm Break
    4:30-6 pm Between Stage and Page

    This panel examines the dynamic interaction between written or printed and performed theatrical works.

    Panel chair: Elizabeth Dillon (English and American studies, Yale University)

    • Jeffrey Richards (English, Old Dominion University), "Theater's Deep Well: Drama and Dissemination in the Eighteenth Century"
    • Lucy Rinehart (English, DePaul University), "Between Stage and Page: The Publication of Plays in the U.S., 1785-1830"
    • Katherine Wilson (Theatre, CUNY), "The Path of a Script: Louisa Medina's 1838 Melodrama 'Nick of the Woods'"
    7:00 pm Reception and dinner (Herron House, 80 William Street)


    Sunday, June 12, 2005
    8:30-10:00 am Lyric Enactments (Antiquarian Hall)

    The circulation of musical and poetic performances -- geographically as well as between printed and vocal forms -- is the shared focus of these three papers.

    Panel chair: Caroline Sloat (American Antiquarian Society)

    • Philip Gura (English, UNC-Chapel Hill), "The Print Revolution and the Recording, Transmission, and Performance of American Vernacular Music"
    • Coleman Hutchison (English, Northwestern University), "Of Song and Songsters: The Civil War Song in Print and Performance Publics"
    • Ingrid Satelmajer (English, University of Maryland - College Park), "Print Poetry as Oral 'Event' in Nineteenth-Century American Periodicals"
    10-10:15 am Break
    10:15-11:45 am Visual Texts and Performances

    These three papers explore the ideological and symbolic functions of visual texts and the dynamic interaction between the visual and the performed.

    Panel chair: Barbara Lacey (history, St. Joseph College)

    • Peter Stallybrass (English, University of Pennsylvania), "Rewriting 'K': Monarchy, the Alphabet, and the Calendar in Colonial and Revolutionary America"
    • Martin Brückner (English, University of Delaware), "Wall Maps, Dramas, and Metaphors: Symbolic Practice in Early Anglo-American Society"
    • Laura Schiavo (Director of Museum Programs, Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington), "Reading the Image: Visual Culture as Print Culture and the Performance of the Bourgeois Self"
    11:45-12 noon Closing Remarks




    The conference will take place at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2005, and concluding at noon on Sunday, June 12.


    The comprehensive fee for the conference is $160 ($115 for graduate students). The fee includes all coffee breaks, two receptions and dinners, and two lunches.


    Please print the registration form, fill it out, and mail it with payment, either check or credit card, to:
    Conference Registration
    American Antiquarian Society
    185 Salisbury Street
    Worcester, MA 01609-1634

    Space at the conference is limited, so please register early.

    Information about housing

    Housing, at special conference rates, is available at two Worcester hotels, the Courtyard by Marriott and the Hampton Inn. By car, both are only minutes from the Society. The Courtyard is about a ten-minute walk from AAS, the Hampton Inn about twenty-five.

    • Worcester Courtyard by Marriott, 72 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01608
      Tel. (508) 363-0300; fax (508) 537-5555
      $104 single or double, plus tax
      Reserve by phoning the hotel at (508) 363-0300 or Marriott Reservations at (800) 321-2211.
      You must mention "American Antiquarian Society - History of the Book Conference" to earn conference rate.
      Deadline for reservations is Friday, May 13.

    • Hampton Inn, 110 Summer Street, Worcester, MA 01608
      Tel. (508) 757-0400; fax (508) 831-9839
      $99 single or double, plus tax, continental breakfast included
      Reserve by phoning the hotel at (508) 757-0400.
      Mention "American Antiquarian Society" to earn conference rate.
      Deadline for reservations is Saturday, May 21.

    Contact Information

    • For more information about the conference in general and about the conference program in particular, contact:
      John Hench (jhench[at]; 508-471-2128)

    • For questions relating to registration logistics, contact:
      Cheryl McRell (cmcrell[at]; 508-471-2149)


    Details about the conference, including costs, registration materials, and information about housing.

    For more information about the conference in general and about the conference program in particular, contact John Hench (jhench[at]; 508-471-2128). For questions relating to registration logistics, contact Cheryl McRell (cmcrell[at]; 508-471-2149).

    Conference Abstracts, Listed in Order of Presentation

    The 2005 AAS Summer Seminar in the History of the Book in American Culture, entitled "Publishing God: Printing, Preaching, and Reading in Eighteenth-Century America" and led by Michael Warner and Peter Stallybrass, will begin on Sunday, June 12, immediately following the conclusion of the conference.

    Traveling to AAS


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    Worcester, Massachusetts 01609-1634
    Tel.: 508-755-5221
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