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2006 Summer Seminar Syllabus

"Books and Their Readers to 1800 and Beyond"
Monday, June 12, through Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jay Fliegelman
Department of English
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305

Monday (June 12)


Registration and Coffee, Goddard Daniels House (GDH)


Session 1 (GDH)
Welcome, Introductions with Jay Fliegelman, Leah Price and Joanne Chaison, followed by Books in Early American Art [a handout of images]




Session 2 (GDH)
Reading the Bible: Milk Drawn from Both Breasts of the Testaments


  • Patricia Crain, The Story of A: The Alphabetization of America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 16-17
  • Mary Rowlandson, The Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson, The Bicentennial Edition (Printed by the Town of Lancaster, 1975). NOTE: Any edition of this text with biblical citations provided is fine, such as the Heath anthology, or the Bedford series, edited by Neal Salisbury, or the Norton Anthology of American Literature.
  • Paul Gutjahr, An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777-1880 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), 1-7, 47-74
  • William Ellery Channing, Ordination Sermon for Jared Sparks (Boston, 1819)
  • Matthew P. Brown, "The Thick Style: Steady Sellers, Textual Aesthetics and Early Modern Devotional Reading," PMLA, January 2006, 67-86



Session 3 (Antiquarian Hall, Council Room)
The Spirit and the Letter


  • Frank Lambert, Inventing the Great Awakening (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 3-16, 146
  • Charles Chauncy, Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England (Boston, 1743), 82-99
  • Robert D. Arner, Dobson's Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), 120
  • Cotton Mather, The Magnalia Christi Americana ed. Kenneth Murdock (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977), 276-277
  • Hugh Amory, "Reinventing the Colonial Book" in The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World, ed. Hugh Amory and David. D. Hall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 26-54

Reception and Dinner (GDH)



Tuesday (June 13)


Session 4 (GDH) Led by Leah Price
Word and thing

# indicates reading in The Book History Reader, ed. David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery (New York: Routledge, 2001).

  • Tanselle, G. Thomas. "A Description of Descriptive Bibliography." Studies in Bibliography 45 (1992), 4-31
  • #D.F. McKenzie, "The Book as an Expressive Form", 27-38
  • #Adrian Johns, "The Book of Nature and the Nature of the Book", 59-76
  • Sherman, William H. "'Rather Soiled by Use': Attitudes toward Readers' Marks." Book Collector 52.4 (2003), 471-90
  • McDonald, Peter. "Ideas of the Book and Histories of Literature: After Theory?" PMLA, January 2006, 214-228
10:30-10:45 Break

Session 5 (GDH) Led by Leah Price
A) Used books

# indicates reading in The Book History Reader, ed. David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery (New York: Routledge, 2001).

  • Roger Chartier, "Preface" and "Communities of Readers" in The Order of Books (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994), vii-xi, 1-23
  • #Stanley Fish, "Interpreting the Variorum" (1980), 350-358
  • Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. (London: Verso, 1991), 22-46
  • Darnton, Robert. "Readers Respond to Rousseau." The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (London: Allen Lane, 1984), 215-56
  • #Darnton, Robert. "What is the history of books?", 9-26
  • Adams, Thomas R., and Nicolas Barker. "A New Model for the Study of the Book." A Potencie of Life: Books in Society. Ed. Nicolas (ed.) Barker. (London: British Library, 1993), 5-43
  • St Clair, William. "The Political Economy of Reading." 2005.
  • RECOMMENDED: Darnton, Robert. "First Steps toward a History of Reading." The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History (New York: Norton, 1990)
B) Metaphors of navigation.
  • Stallybrass, Peter. "Books and Scrolls: Navigating the Bible." Books and Readers in Early Modern England. Eds. Jennifer Andersen and Elizabeth Sauer. (Philadelphia: Univ. Pennsylvania Press, 2002), 42-79
  • Jerome McGann, "The Rationale of Hypertext":
  • Duguid, Paul. "Material Matters: The Past and Futurology of the Book." The Future of the Book. Ed. Geoffrey Nunberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 63-102.
12:15 Lunch

Session 6 (GDH)
The Big Picture


  • David Shields "Eighteenth-Century Literary Culture" in The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World, ed. by Hugh Amory and David D. Hall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 434-476
  • "The Republic of ABC" in Patricia Crain, The Story of A (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 55-101
  • Patricia Crain, "Print and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century" in Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary, ed. Scott E. Caspar et al. 47-66
  • David Hall, "The Politics of Writing and Writing in Eighteenth-Century America" in Cultures of Print (Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1996), 151-168
  • Wendy Wick Reaves, "Effigies Curiously Engraven: Eighteenth-Century American Portrait Prints" in Prints of New England, ed. Georgia Brady Barnhill (Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1992), 39-68
3:00-3:15  Break


Session 7 (GDH)
Female Subjects: The Dangers of Reading


  • "American Tract Society" and "Gift Books" in Paul Gutjahr, Popular American Literature in the 19th Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 45, 59-83
  • Tabitha Gilman Tenney, Female Quixotism, ed. Jean Nienkamp and Andrea Collins (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 2-14
  • "The Provincial Spectator and the Novel" in Ned C. Landsman, From Colonials to Provincials (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997), 46-56, 66-71
  • Kevin J. Hayes, A Colonial Woman's Bookshelf (Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 1996), 54-79
  • Susan Scott Parrish, "Fatal Curiosity" in American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), 174-189
7:00-8:30  Session 8 (GDH)
Conversation with Jay about "his" Books and Collecting


Wednesday (June 14)


Session 9 (GDH)
Revolutionary Commonplacing


  • "Political Fables" in Edward Larkin, Thomas Paine and the Literature of Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 40-47
  • Kenneth Lockridge, Patriarchal Rage ( New York: New York University Press, 1992), 1-27, 47-59
  • Jefferson's Literary Common Place Book ed. Douglas L. Wilson (Princeton: Princeton University Press 1989) 30-43
  • "Paper Manufacturers, Printers and Bookbinders" in The Arts and Crafts in New York, 1726-1776 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1970) 233-248
  • Zoltan Harastzi, John Adams and the Prophets of Progress (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952), 186-207, 238-247
  • Milcah Martha Moore's Book: A Commonplace Book from Revolutionary America ed. Catherine La Courreye Blecki and Karin A. Wulf (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), 58-76



Session 10 (GDH)
Marginalia and Autographs


  • Edgar Allan Poe, "Autography", Graham's Magazine, November 1841, 224-234 and "Autography," December 1841, 273-286
  • "The Lost World of Colonial Handwriting" and "Handwriting, Individuality, and the Unconscious" in Tamara Plakins Thornton, Handwriting in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), 3-31, 78-92
  • H.J. Jackson, Romantic Readers: The Evidence of Marginalia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 153-178
  • H.J. Jackson, "Motives for Marginalia" in Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 81-100



Group Photograph
(location to be announced)


Session 11 (Antiquarian Hall, Council Room)

Workshop on "Books and Their Readers."
Organized by Joanne Chaison

3:15-3:30   Break


Session 12 (Antiquarian Hall, Council Room)
Witness of Herman Melville

Herman Melville readings:


Dinner at the home of John and Lea Hench



Thursday (June 15)

9:00-10:30     Session 13 (GDH)
Print and the City

  • Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, "Obscenity in the City" in Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth Century America (New York: Knopf, 2002), 210-248
  • "The Liberty of Intellect and the Taste for Fiction," in Thomas Augst, The Clerk's Tale (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 191-206
  • Candy Gunther Brown, The Word in the World: Evangelical Writing Publishing and Reading in America 1789-1880 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 27-45
10:30-10:45   Break
10:45-12:00   Session 14


  • "American Romanticism and the Depression of 1837" in William Charvat, The Profession of Authorship in America, 1800-1870 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1968), 49-67
  • Marva Banks, "Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Antebellum Black Response" in Readers in History ed. James Machor, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 209-227
  • "International Copyright and the Political Economy of Print" in Meredith L. McGill, American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1834-1853 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press), 76-108
  • "Judging Books by their Covers," in Reading Books: Essays on the Material Text and Literature in America ed. Michele Moylan and Lane Stiles (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995), 75-115
  • "Printer and Author" in Rollo Silver, The American Printer, 1787-1825 (Charlottesville, : University of Virginia, 1967), 97-114.
12:15     Lunch
1:15-3:00    Session 15 (GDH)


  • "Telling Objects : A Narrative Perspective on Collecting" in The Cultures of Collecting ed. B. John Eklsner and Roger Cardinal (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), 97-115
3:00-3:30   Presentation of certificates
3:30-4:30   Session 16 (GDH)
Concluding session--summary/overview


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