MLA 2012 book history sessions

I’ve compiled a list of book history sessions at the 2012 convention of the Modern Language Association by browsing the online convention program for those sessions that seemed to connect to aspects of bibliography, print culture, or textual scholarship–70, all told. I’m sure I missed some, especially because titles aren’t always particularly reflective of a session’s content, and even paper titles aren’t always enlightening. Let me know of any additions or emendations in the comments below and I will make changes accordingly! (Those of you interested in Digital Humanities should check out Mark Sample’s list of sessions—there’s some overlap, but that’s a post for another day!)

9. Large Digital Libraries: Beyond Google Books

  • Thursday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 611, WSCC
  • Presiding: Michael Hancher, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Speakers: Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ.; George Oates, Open Library; Glenn Roe, Univ. of Chicago; Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia; Jeremy York, HathiTrust Digital Library
  • Aside from Google Books, the two principal repositories for digitized books are Open Library andHathiTrust Digital LibraryDigital Public Library of America is now in its planning stage. What are the merits and prospects of these three projects? How can they be improved? What role should scholars play in their improvement? These questions will be addressed by participants in each project and by others experienced in the digital humanities.
  • For a prospectus, visit

10. Rag, Letter, Post: Material Communications Networks in Colonial and Early National America

  • Thursday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 608, WSCC
  • Presiding: Trish Loughran, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
  • 1. “Paper Nationalism,” Jonathan Senchyne, Cornell Univ.
    2. “Posting Logan: Jefferson’s Appendix to Notes on the State of Virginia,” Mark Mattes, Univ. of Iowa
    3. “Revolutionary Correspondences,” Russ Castronovo, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
    Responding: Trish Loughran

13. An African Literary Classic in Ten World Translations

  • Thursday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Willow B, Sheraton
  • Presiding: David Chioni Moore, Macalester Coll.
  • Speakers: Ana Paula Ferreira, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Ursula Lindqvist, Harvard Univ.; Ben Vu Tran, Vanderbilt Univ.; Kennedy Waliaula, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  • This roundtable examines the classic 1956 francophone Cameroonian novel Une vie de boy (or Houseboy) in its ten translations, 1958–98: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, German, Portuguese, Slovenian, Swahili, Swedish, and Vietnamese. Charged concepts and referents (e.g., nègre, le boy, sjambok, péril jaune), rarely translated words (shorts, jeep, khaki), target-language contexts and politics, and more will be examined in major and less-taught languages.

25. Material Worlds

  • Thursday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Redwood, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Nieves Romero-Diaz, Mount Holyoke Coll.
  • 1. “Material and Verbal Worlds: Cognition and Reading in Don Quijote,” Barbara Simerka, Queens Coll., City Univ. of New York
    2. “The 1599 Lazarillo and the Cultural and Textual History of Lazarillo de Tormes,” Felipe Ruan, Brock Univ.
    3. “Narrative Culture and the Printing Press,” Ignacio E. Navarrete, Univ. of California, Berkeley

34. The Future of Peer Review

  • Thursday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Issaquah, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Sean Scanlan, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York
  • 1. “Making Online Peer Review Interactive: Sticky Notes and Highlighters,” Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State Univ.
    2. “The Bearable Light of Openness: Renovating Obsolete Peer-Review Bottlenecks,” Aaron J. Barlow, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York
    3. “The Law Review Approach: What the Humanities Can Learn,” Allen Mendenhall, Auburn Univ., Auburn

39. Where New European Literature Begins . . .

  • Thursday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Redwood, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Sibylle Baumbach, Univ. of Mainz
  • 1. “The Border Condition of/in European Literature,” Søren Frank, Univ. of Southern Denmark
    2. “Anthologies of European Identity: A Case Study of Textual Coproduction,” César Pablo Domínguez-Prieto, Univ. of Santiago de Compostela
    3. “Online Research, International Networks, Databanks: Toward New Forms of European Literary Discourse,” Franca Sinopoli, Sapienza Univ. of Rome
  • For abstracts and further information, write to sibylle.baumbach @

47. Old Books and New Tools

  • Thursday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 606, WSCC
  • Presiding: Sarah Werner, Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Speakers: Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.; Jeffrey Knight, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Matt Thomas, Univ. of Iowa; Whitney Trettien, Duke Univ.; Meg Worley, Palo Alto, CA
  • Session Description: This roundtable will consider how the categories of old books and new tools might illuminate each other. Speakers will provide individual reflections on their experiences with old books and new tools before opening up the conversation to the theoretical and practical concerns driving the use and interactions of the two.
  • For more information, see

53. Death and/of the Author: Posthumous Publication

  • Thursday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 615, WSCC
  • Presiding: Augusta Rohrbach, Washington State Univ., Pullman
  • 1. “Posthumous Authorship and Poetry Editing in Nineteenth-Century America,” Melissa K. White, Univ. of Virginia
    2. “Reanimating the Corpse: R. M. Bird’s Sheppard Lee and the Problems of Posthumous Publication,” Sari Altschuler, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
    3. “Textual Identity, Textual Amnesia: The Author as Fluid Text and the Editing of Billy Budd,” John Bryant, Hofstra Univ.

61. The Book and the Body in Medieval Iberia

  • Thursday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Jefferson, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Jean Dangler, Tulane Univ.
  • 1. “Ha imagen que vyu da virgin: Watery Transformations and Maria’s Praesentia in the Cantigas de Santa María of Alfonso X,” Marla I. Pagan-Mattos, Univ. of Pennsylvania
    2. “Destroying Discourse and Constructing Masculinity in the Arcipreste de Talavera,” Shaun Bauer, Univ. of Central Florida
    3. “Morisco Manuscripts and Cultural Heritage in Modern Spain,” Heather Bamford, Texas State Univ., San Marcos

66. Early Modern Knowledge Transfer

  • Thursday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Virginia, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Patrick Brugh, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
  • 1. “Translating History, Shaping Nation: Nationalism, Humanism, Vernacular, and the Printing Press,” Jan Hon, Ludwig Maximilian Univ.
    2. “Gender, Sociability, and New Technologies: Emblems in Seventeenth-Century Nürnberg,” Mara R. Wade, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
    3. “Baroque Poets Enlightened: Lessing and Ramler Plan an Anthology,” Bryn Savage, Yale Univ.
    4. “Petrarchism, Gallantry, and the Transfer of Knowledge in the German Baroque Sonnet,” Jan Oliver Jost-Fritz, Technische Universität Berlin

71. How to Read the New-York Saturday Press

  • Thursday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 306, WSCC
  • Presiding: Leif Eckstrom, Tufts Univ.
  • 1. “On Puffing: The New-York Saturday Press and Secondary Genres of Literary Production,” Leif Eckstrom
    2. “Whitman’s Publics,” Virginia Jackson, Univ. of California, Irvine
    3. “Ada Clare and the Feminist Feuilleton,” Joanna Dale Levin, Chapman Univ.
    Responding: Edward Whitley, Lehigh Univ.

77. How New Variorum Shakespeare Editors Work

  • Thursday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 606, WSCC
  • Presiding: Paul Werstine, Univ. of Western Ontario
  • 1. “Editorial Practice,” Richard A. Knowles, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. “Building a New Variorum Shakespeare Web Site: Julius Caesar,” M. L. Stapleton, Indiana Univ.–Purdue Univ., Fort Wayne
    3. “‘Do Not Mock Me, Fellow Student’: Work-Study Assistance,” Paul Werstine

86. Slavery, Enlightenment, and the Book

  • Thursday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Willow B, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Lesley Curtis, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham
  • 1. “Slavery and the Autobiography: Benjamin Franklin’s Account of Slavery and Slave Labor in Eighteenth-Century America,” Christen Mucher, Univ. of Pennsylvania
    2. “Helen Maria Williams’s Paul and Virginia: Love, the Rights of Man, and Plantation Slavery,” David Sigler, Univ. of Idaho
    3. “The Book and Slave Trades in Colonial Rhode Island,” Sean D. Moore, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham

135. Textual Scholarship and African Americanist Studies

  • Thursday, 5 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 307, WSCC
  • Presiding: George B. Hutchinson, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
  • 1. “A Is for Abolitionist: Type, Print, and the Media Representation of Slavery,” Ezra Greenspan, Southern Methodist Univ.
    2. “Black Boy and American Hunger: Richard Wright, Revision, and Narrative Systems,” John Kevin Young, Marshall Univ.
    3. “More Than McKay and Guillen: The Caribbean in Bontemps and Hughes’s The Poetry of the Negro,” Ifeoma C. K. Nwankwo, Vanderbilt Univ.
    Responding: Leon Jackson, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia
  • For abstracts, write to youngj @ after 15 Dec.

173. Josephine A. Roberts Forum: “Words and Music: How the Elizabethans Knew the Psalms”

  • Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 606, WSCC
  • Presiding: Margaret P. Hannay, Siena Coll.
  • 1. “The Holy Ghost, the People, and the Editor,” Beth Quitslund, Ohio Univ.
    2. “The Psalm Tunes: Spur or Drag?,” Nicholas Temperley, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
    Responding: Susan M. Felch, Calvin Coll.

179. Pre-Raphaelite Audiences: Artists, Critics, Readers

  • Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 613, WSCC
  • Presiding: Greg Barnhisel, Duquesne Univ.
  • 1. “Inventing Rossetti: Biographies as Reception,” Julie Codell, Arizona State Univ.
    2. “Oscar Wilde as Pre-Raphaelite Reader,” Linda H. Peterson, Yale Univ.
    3. “The Authorial Presence of William Morris in Victorian Periodical Culture,” Yuri A. Cowan, Ghent Univ.
    4. “Pre-Raphaelite Audiences on the Continent: The Dutch Case,” Anne van Buul, Univ. of Groningen

217. Reconfiguring the Scholarly Editor: Textual Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle

  • Friday, 6 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., 613, WSCC
  • Presiding: Míceál Vaughan, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  • 1. “Neither Editor nor Librarian: The Interventions Required in the New Context of Texts in the Digital World,” Joseph Tennis, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
    2. “Revealing a Coronation Tribute: Decoding the Hidden Aural and Visual Symbols,” JoAnn Taricani, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
    3. “Mapping Editors,” Meg Roland, Marylhurst Univ.
    4. “The Editor as Curator: Early Histories of Collected Works Editions in English,” Jeffrey Knight, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

239. Revising Donne

  • Friday, 6 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 310, WSCC
  • Presiding: Margaret Ann Maurer, Colgate Univ.
  • 1. “Donne and Rhapsody,” Piers Brown, Univ. of York
    2. “Revising Donne in Manuscript and Print,” Tracy McLawhorn, Texas A&M Univ., College Station
    3. “‘Cribrated and Recribrated and Post-Cribrated’: The Revisionist Contributions of the Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne,” Peter E. McCullough, Univ. of Oxford, Lincoln Coll.

271. Radical Print Culture

  • Friday, 6 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 306, WSCC
  • Presiding: Greg Barnhisel, Duquesne Univ.
  • 1. “Early-Twentieth-Century African American Journalism: Seeking a Radical Ideal,” Jane Rhodes, Macalester Coll.
    2. “Poetry and Violence (Some from Satin Shoes!): Prison Mimeography in the Age of Revolution and Reaction,” Larry Sullivan, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, City Univ. of New York
    3. “Wake Up, Queers: AIDS Activist Print Culture 1987–96,” Marty Fink, Concordia Univ.
    Responding: Kristin L. Matthews, Brigham Young Univ., UT
  • For abstracts, visit

306. Provocative Feminisms

  • Friday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 612, WSCC
  • Presiding: Juliana M. Spahr, Mills Coll.
  • 1. “The Politics of Aesthetics and Ethics: The Distribution of the Insensible,” Vanessa Place, Los Angeles, CA
    2. “Queering Normative Texts,” Erica Kaufman, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
    3. “The Demon in the House: Small Presses, Women Poets, and Teenage Speakers,” Danielle Pafunda, Univ. of Wyoming

310. Booking Marlowe

  • Friday, 6 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 307, WSCC
  • Presiding: Roslyn L. Knutson, Univ. of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • 1. “Anonymous Marlowe,” Adam G. Hooks, Univ. of Iowa
    2. “Leander’s Index: Marlowe, Books, and Passion,” Sarah Wall-Randell, Wellesley Coll.
    3. “Nicholas Ling, Elizabethan Republicanism, and The Famouse Tragedie of the Riche Jewe of Malta (1594),” Kirk Melnikoff, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • For abstracts, visit

330. Learned Journals and Libraries: Knowledge Economies and Economics of Knowledge

  • Friday, 6 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Jefferson, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Sarah G. Wenzel, Univ. of Chicago
  • 1. “The Cost of Knowledge for Scholarly Editors,” Alan Rauch, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte
    2. “Collaborative Economies: Tools and Strategies for Scholars and Libraries,” Harriett Green, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
    3. “Cohesion and Chaos: The Distribution of Scholarly Knowledge in a Changing Library Paradigm,” William Thompson, Western Illinois Univ.
    Responding: Robert H. Kieft, Occidental Coll.

444. Preservation Is (Not) Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

  • Saturday, 7 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., 307, WSCC
  • Presiding: Robert H. Kieft, Occidental Coll.
  • Speakers: Rod Gauvin, ProQuest; John Kiplinger, JSTOR; Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; John Wilkin, HathiTrust Digital Library; Responding: Joan Lippincott, Coalition for Networked Information
  • Session Description: The speakers will discuss the preservation of texts as a core purpose of libraries, engaging questions regarding the tasks of deciding what materials to preserve and when and which to let go: best practices; institutional and collective roles for the preservation of materials in various formats; economics and governance structures of preserving materials; issues of tools, standards, and platforms for digital materials.
  • For abstracts, visit after 1 Dec.

490. Reconfiguring the Scholarly Edition

  • Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 611, WSCC
  • Presiding: Susan Schreibman, Trinity Coll. Dublin
  • Speakers: Michael R. Best, Univ. of Victoria; John Bryant, Hofstra Univ.; Alexander Gil, Univ. of Virginia; Elizabeth Grove-White, Univ. of Victoria; Grant Simpson, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
  • Session Description: New theories of editing have broadened the approaches available to editors of scholarly editions. Noteworthy amongst these are the changes brought about by editing for digital publication. New methods for digital scholarship, forms of editions, theories informing digital publication, and tools offer exciting alternatives to traditional notions of the scholarly edition.

517. Indigenous Textual Cultures

  • Saturday, 7 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 306, WSCC
  • Presiding: Sarah Brouillette, Carleton Univ.
  • 1. “Book History and the Indigenous Americas,” Matt Cohen, Univ. of Texas, Austin
    2. “Ethnography and the Indigenous Archive in Canada,” Marc Fortin, Queen’s Univ.
    3. “Whose Land of Sunshine? The Economics of Ethnography in Progressive-Era Los Angeles,” Sigrid Anderson Cordell, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    4. “Hendrick Aupaumut’s Mistakes,” Katherine L. Chiles, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville

520. Sticker Shock: The Rising Cost of Textbooks

  • Saturday, 7 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 617, WSCC
  • Presiding: David Forrest Stout, Portland Community Coll., OR
  • 1. “Lopsided Playing Fields: The High Cost of College Textbooks and Its Distinct Impact on Community Colleges,” Falk Cammin, Foothill Coll., CA
    2. “Creating and Curating: How the Open Educational Resources Movement Is Transforming College Writing and Reading,” Miles McCrimmon, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll., VA
    3. “A Patchwork of Sorts: Free Online Materials as Alternatives to Costly Textbooks,” Shirin E. Edwin, Sam Houston State Univ.

553. Print Culture and Cultural Practices

  • Saturday, 7 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Ravenna C, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Claire Baldwin, Colgate Univ.
  • 1. “Dwelling in Letters: The Epistolary Framework of Nineteenth-Century Women Authors,” Lena Heilmann, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
    2. “Vor-Lesen: Romantic Sociability at the Intersection of Scholarly Lecturing and Literary Declamation,” Sean B. Franzel, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia
    3. “Bescheidenheit und Urbanität: Mediale Strategien und kulturelle Praktiken der Ästhetisierung des Lebens in der ‘Zeitung für die Elegante Welt,'” Anna Ananieva, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

566. Ending the Edition

  • Saturday, 7 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 303, WSCC
  • Presiding: Carol DeBoer-Langworthy, Brown Univ.
  • 1. “Mary Moody Emerson’s Almanacks: Digital Editions and Imagined Endings,” Noelle A. Baker, Neenah, WI
    2. “Closing the Book on a Multigenerational Edition: Harvard’s The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson,” Ronald A. Bosco, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York; Joel Myerson, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia
    3. “‘Letting Go’: The Final Volumes of the Cambridge Fitzgerald Edition,” James L. W. West, Penn State Univ., University Park

579. Why Comics Are and Are Not Picture Books

  • Saturday, 7 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 303, WSCC
  • Presiding: Charles Hatfield, California State Univ., Northridge; Craig Svonkin, Metropolitan State Coll. of Denver
  • 1. “Picture Book Guy Looks at Comics: Structural Differences in Two Kinds of Visual Narrative,” Perry Nodelman, Univ. of Winnipeg
    2. “Not Genres but Modes of Graphic Narrative: Comics and Picture Books,” Philip Nel, Kansas State Univ.
    3. “Graphic Novels’ Assault upon the Republic of Reading,” Michael Joseph, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
    4. “The Panel as Page and the Page as Panel: Uncle Shelby and the Case of the Twin ABZ Books,” Joseph Terry Thomas, San Diego State Univ.

600. Lord Byron: Poetry in Manuscript, Poetry in Print

  • Saturday, 7 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 616, WSCC
  • Presiding: Gary R. Dyer, Cleveland State Univ.
  • 1. “Indeterminacy and Method: Editing Byron’s Accidentals,” Alice J. Levine, Hofstra Univ.
    2. “Byron’s Social Readers and the Limits of Manuscript,” Michelle Nancy Levy, Simon Fraser Univ.
    3. “Byron’s Hand,” Gary R. Dyer

606. Text:Image Visual Studies in the English Major

  • Saturday, 7 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 304, WSCC
  • Presiding: Meg Roland, Marylhurst Univ.
  • 1. “Aesthetic Literacy and Interdisciplinary Vocabularies,” M. Stephanie Murray, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
    2. “Curricular Challenges, Pedagogical Opportunities: Charting Modernism across Departmental Boundaries,” David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.; Elizabeth Lee, Dickinson Coll.
    3. “Text:Image Visual Studies in the English Department,” Perrin Maurine Kerns, Marylhurst Univ.
    4. “Mapping the Antebellum Culture of Reprinting,” Ryan Cordell, Saint Norbert Coll.
  • For abstracts, write to mroland @

644. Pedagogy and Print Culture in the Sixties

  • Sunday, 8 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 306, WSCC
  • Presiding: Loren D. Glass, Univ. of Iowa
  • 1. “Midget Missiles and Penny Projectiles: The Christian Anticommunism Crusade and Anticommunist Education,” Laura Gifford, George Fox Univ.
    2. “Reading Revolution,” Loren D. Glass
    3. “Puppets and Politics at the Bookmobile Stop: Radically Reimagining Public Space, 1968–69,” Derek Attig, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
    4. “Serializing Social Movements: Periodicals and the Time of US Women’s Liberation,” Agatha Beins, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

738. Textual Remediation in the Digital Age

  • Sunday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 307, WSCC
  • Presiding: Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia
  • Speakers: Mark Algee-Hewitt, McGill Univ.; Alison Booth, Univ. of Virginia; Amanda Gailey, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station
  • Session Description: Roundtable on the theoretical, practical, and institutional issues surrounding the transformation of print-era texts into digital forms for scholarly use. What forms of editing need to be done, and by whom? What new research questions are becoming possible? How will the global digital library change professional communication? What is the future of the academic research library? How can we make sustainable digital textual resources for literary studies?

748. Remediating Eighteenth-Century Authorship

  • Sunday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Willow A, Sheraton
  • Presiding: Sören Hammerschmidt, Ghent Univ.
  • 1. “‘Acting Plays and Reading Plays’: Intermediation and Fielding’s The Author’s Farce and the Pleasures of the Town,” Mark Vareschi, Univ. of Texas, San Antonio
    2. “The Pamela Franchise,” Martha A. Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve Univ.
    3. “Authorship and the Anthology in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Germany,” Bryn Savage, Yale Univ.
    4. “Authors Unformed: Reading ‘Beauties’ in the Eighteenth Century,” Daniel Cook, Univ. of Bristol

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