Public Lecture at the Book Club of California

The Book Club of California has generously agreed to host me for a public lecture and exhibit of all things literary annuals. Join me on February 22 in San Francisco for a jaunty walk through beautiful books.

“The Rise of the Literary Annual, Powerful Femininity, and Beautiful Books,” Feb 22, 5-7pm

The Book Club of California

In May 2015, I published a scholarly literary history about the rise of the British literary annual based on the rich diversity of European religious emblems, French almanacs, and British conduct manuals. All of these forms of diminutive books were meant to define, and in essence control, femininity — at least that is the idea offered by a German publisher, Rudolph Ackermann. In the end the literary annual provided a space for re-creating a massive reading public who enjoyed poetry, travel tales, gothic short stories, images of popular (yet difficult to reach) artwork, morality short stories, fantasy, and other early forms of literature. The literary annual as a genre was exported to America soon after it was proved to be lucrative in London with its first publication in November 1822. By 1828, the craze for this type of reading material overwhelmed booksellers and drawing rooms in England, France, South America, and finally, America, where publishers shameless pirated copies of the London volumes, even exchanging an anglo-centric poem for one that celebrates the nascent formation of an American pride. Well before the development of the short story by Edgar Allen Poe in the mid-nineteenth century, Mary Shelley was developing her craft as an effective short story author, as were other contributors to the British literary annuals. The annuals allowed authors to reach a massive audience both in England and abroad.

With an exhibit of a selection from my 300+ collection of literary annuals (American, British, and French), almanacs, and anthologies, the presentation ventures into show and tell about the rise of the British literary annual as a precursor to American Romanticism (1830-1865). Though The Book Club of California focuses on literature of California and the West, this exhibit and talk links to the expansion of print culture stemming from London, arguably the center of the publishing industry in the early nineteenth century and certainly the locus of innovation with the mechanization of print and paper making — especially Rudolph Ackermann, the publisher of the first British literary annual in November 1822.

If interested for the sake of the exhibit, please see the Forget Me Not: A Hypertextual Archive of Ackermann’s 19th-century Literary Annual, a digital archive of the first published British literary annual here (only a few are displayed):

My book, Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835, spans far across the globe to discover the influence of literary annuals on all facets of publishing, printing, and literary production from England to America in the early nineteenth century.

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Forget Me Nots, a Talk in Salzburg

On September 1, Dr. Ralph Poole generously hosted me for a symposium on my most recent work, Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835. The audience was filled with American Studies scholars with a large quantity of them already familiar with textual studies, history of the book, and bibliography. In addition, and to my great pleasure, they were already enamored with David Greetham’s work in philology and textual studies.

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Bavarian Digital Humanities – Thriving

On Sept 2, 2015, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with a full room of interesting and interdisciplinary scholars and colleagues about the state of Digital Humanities in North America. The conversation ranged wide and far, starting with my shoestring digital archive and concluding with looking at blogs by Digital Humanists. The age old question, and even Steve Ramsay’s dictum came up: does a Digital Humanist have to code? The conversation was surprising for both sides, but the colleagues in attendance were so varied that I was heartened by the sheer interest in not just content concerning Digital Humanities projects, but also the attendance and interest by, among them, computer science and the supercomputing lab (!). Formal details are below as was in the announcement. Below that are the varied links and websites that we traversed for ease of reference. What a wonderful evening of discussion about Digital Humanities!

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Back on the Talk Circuit: Talks in Salzburg and Munich, Sept 2015

After a very long hiatus from delivering talks, I’m back out there to promote several projects, the first among them my recent monograph with Ohio UP (2015). The second a general talk about Digital Humanities. If you’re in the area of Salzburg, Austria or Munich Germany on Sept 1 or Sept 2, please join us for a discussion on two diverse but related topics:

Sept 1, 2015, 11am
University of Salzburg
Unipark, Erzabt-Klotz-Straße 1, 4th floor, room 4.202 (poster)

Title: British Ingenuity from German Invention: The Legacy of Rudolph Ackermann and Nineteenth-Century Literary Annuals

Dr. Ralph Poole is graciously hosting a meeting on Sept 1 at 11am at the University of Salzburg where I’ll discuss my work in 19th-century literature and literary annuals. If you or any of your colleagues are interested in joining, please let me know. (I have not learned of the location yet but am assuming that it will take place at the university.) Please feel free to pass along this information to anyone who is interested.

Brief description:
The overwhelming evidence of Rudolph Ackermann’s ingenuity as a publisher in early nineteenth-century London culminates in the development and execution of the first literary annual, The Forget Me Not, which was published by Ackermann 1823-1847. His efforts caused an explosion of British literary annuals that encouraged the production of portable thematic artwork, the gothic short story, poetry by women authors, ekphrastic writing, travel narratives, political and comic writings, among other literary and visual culture. By engaging with the literary annual as a material representation of British Romanticism, I propose to take the audience through an exploration of the development of British nationalism, alternative forms of femininity, and literary taste — all the while based on “borrowing” literary and print culture from Germany, France, and Spain.

The talk is based on my recently published literary history, Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835 (Ohio UP 2015).

* * * * * *

Sept 2, 2015, 5pm
Location: Besprechungsraum, Bavarian Academy of sciences
Sponsored by Prof. Dr. Hubertus Kohle
Dekan der Fakultät für Geschichts-und Kunstwissenschaften
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
LMU München

Title: Digital Humanities and Visual Culture
This symposium will focus on Digital Humanities projects literary and visual cultures and is based on Dr. Harris’ work on the 19th-century British literary annual and the subsequent digital archive. Over the last 5 years, Digital Humanities in North America has evolved into discrete arenas based on disciplinary need. Harris pulls together work in visual culture to demonstrate the primacy of the material object through her digital archival work.

Curating Digital Pedagogy at MLA 2016 REDUX!


Based on the success of previous years of digital pedagogy roundtables, aka poster sessions, aka digital demos, the editors of the Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities collection put together a proposal for the Modern Language Association Convention in January 2016, Austin, Texas, where we will continue to keep Austin weird! We have a great line-up of projects and keywords to demo the evolution of digital pedagogy since that first poster session in 2012.

Curating Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

Curating Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities opens outward one of the most hidden acts of our profession: teaching. Often only students and faculty are privy to the workings of a classroom setting or results of a particular assignment. For this electronic roundtable, we propose to expose, discuss, and demonstrate not just the acts of learning and teaching, but also the interaction between our evolving reliance on digital tools as a way to engage with public humanities. Read more…

Day of Digital Humanities 2015!

Every year, Digital Humanists far and wide across the globe choose a single day to blog about their activities. It started out 6 years ago as a demonstration about all the work that goes into doing Digital Humanities — and 6 years ago (March 2009, March 2010, March 2011, and March 2012), I started blogging about the teaching of Digital Humanities and the use of Digital Pedagogy to demonstrate that our kind of institution can have an impact in this type of scholarly field. (Grad students, I’m teaching a seminar in Digital Humanities to continue work on the BeardStair Project from Spring 2013 in Spring 2016.)
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Research & Scholarly Activity Award — WOOT!

Today, my Dean, Lisa Vollendorf, notified me about receiving the 2015 Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Award for the College of the Humanities and the Arts.

FMN Cover Digital pedagogy avatar CA-OER image

I am, honored and ecstatic about the recognition by my colleagues but am most honored to have my work in all of my fields recognized with this award. I’ve blogged about my disciplinary and methodological schisms but have been ever determined to maintain my credentials as a literary scholar of the British Romantics while focusing on history of the book and textual scholarship. My training took me towards scholarly editing and then quite seamlessly into what is now called (or continuously contested as) Digital Humanities. This focus, in turn, led to working in Digital Pedagogy primarily because I work at a teaching institution that values interactions with students above all else. The graduate seminar in Digital Humanities — on the BeardStair Project — marked the turn of implementing what I already knew that I didn’t know: how to collaborate and, by that virtue, how to lead. Read more…

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