Public Program- Philip F. Gura

Lectures and Performances
Friday, November 19, 2004 - 7:30pm

Magnalia Historiae Libri Americana; or, How the American Antiquarian Society Brought the History of the Book into the New Millennium
by Philip F. Gura

The James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book in American Culture

Since the inception of its Program in the History of the Book in American Culture in 1983, AAS has emerged as a primary center for scholarship in this burgeoning field. How does a research library, as opposed to a university, come to fill such an important role? What is the nature of the research and scholarly collaboration that AAS has nurtured that has been internationally recognized? What is the relation of the work done at AAS to the larger questions scholars address in American history and culture? And most importantly, what new directions might such research take in the new millennium? Gura will address these and other questions, offering both a retrospective and prospective look at the significance of AAS as a research center in the history of the book and of print culture. This is the twenty-second annual Wiggins Lecture named for James Russell Wiggins (1903-2000), chairman of the Society from 1970 to 1977, who was editor of the Washington Post and, until his death at the age of 96, editor of the Ellsworth (Maine) American. Wiggins also served as US ambassador to the United Nations in 1968.

Philip F. Gura, Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author or editor of nine books, including The Wisdom of Words: Language, Theology, and Literature in the New England Renaissance (1981), C. F. Martin and His Guitars, 1796-1873 (2003), and an interpretive biography Jonathan Edwards, America's Evangelical, forthcoming from Hill & Wang.

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