Programs > Academic Programs > History of the Book

2010 Summer Seminar in the History of the Book

The Global American South
and Early American Print Culture

Monday, June 14- Friday, June 18, 2010

American Telephone and 
Telegraph What happens when we view the imagined community of U.S. print culture from the vantage point of the South? How might such a reoriented book history challenge emerging transatlantic, transnational, and cosmopolitan histories of the U.S.? At a moment when industrial print culture was consolidating itself in the Northeast, "the South" appeared in print on several spatial scales. While asserting an "American" identity, Southerners represented themselves as a sectional alternative to the nation. Boasting a distinctive regional culture, they simultaneously celebrated local diversity. The seminar will investigate how these complementary practices of national, regional, and local self-definition circuited through print cultural conditions on the ground. How, we will ask, did distribution, copyright, authorship, and reading inflect the South's sectional self-fashioning, its attempt to lay claim to the nation, and its engagements with the wider world?

We can hear echoes of Southern print culture's sectional and local accents in the American Antiquarian Society's unsurpassed periodical holdings, which also allow us to track the printed South's circulation, reception, and representation throughout the nation. The seminar will benefit from the AAS' wealth of ephemeral print propaganda on the South's major political crises: Indian removal, the slavery controversy, and nullification/secession. Finally, the seminar will provide an introduction to the Tinker Collection's rich holdings in Francophone Louisiana materials-from legal ordinance digests to an original copy of Les Cenelles.

Of particular interest to literary scholars and historians, the seminar should also appeal to art historians and legal scholars, as well as those researching the multi-ethnic history and culture of the U.S.


The tuition for the seminar is $750. A limited amount of financial aid is available. Preference for assistance will be given to first-time AAS summer seminar attendees.


The deadline for applications was March 12, 2010.
Download an application.


Rooms, at the reduced rate of $89 (king) and $99 (queen/queen) per night, are available at the Worcester Courtyard by Marriott, 72 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605. State and local tax (currently 12.45%) apply.

Reservations must be made by May 24, 2010, to receive this rate.

To make a reservation please call 1-508-363-0300 and mention that you are coming in with the American Antiquarian Society "Summer Seminar-History of the Book" group. The reference number is M-E936P.

About the Faculty

The seminar will be led by Jeannine DeLombard and Lloyd Pratt. DeLombard is Associate Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty with the Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture and the Centre for the Study of the U.S. at the University of Toronto. Pratt is Assistant Professor of English and Core Faculty in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.

Contact Information

For more information about the seminar in general and about the seminar program in particular, contact:
Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs


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