New Book | Studies in Ephemera

Posted in books by Editor on April 30, 2015

First published in 2013, Studies in Ephemera was recently released in paperback:

Kevin Murphy and Sally O’Driscoll, eds., Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2015), 318 pages, ISBN: 978-1611484946 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1611486612 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1611484953 (ebook), $90 / $45.

1611484944Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print brings together established and emerging scholars of early modern print culture to explore the dynamic relationships between words and illustrations in a wide variety of popular cheap print from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. While ephemera was ubiquitous in the period, it is scarcely visible to us now, because only a handful of the thousands of examples once in existence have been preserved. Nonetheless, single-sheet printed works, as well as pamphlets and chapbooks, constituted a central part of visual and literary culture, and were eagerly consumed by rich and poor alike in Great Britain, North America, and on the Continent. Displayed in homes, posted in taverns and other public spaces, or visible in shop windows on city streets, ephemeral works used sensational means to address themes of great topicality. The English broadside ballad, of central concern in this volume, grew out of oral culture; the genre addressed issues of nationality, history, gender and sexuality, economics, and more.

Richly illustrated and well researched, Studies in Ephemera offers interdisciplinary perspectives into how ephemeral works reached their audiences through visual and textual means. It also includes essays that describe how collections of ephemera are categorized in digital and conventional archives, and how our understanding of these works is shaped by their organization into collections. This timely and fascinating book will appeal to archivists, and students and scholars in many fields, including art history, comparative literature, social and economic history, and English literature.

Kevin D. Murphy is professor and executive officer in the PhD Program in Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine: Commerce, Culture, and Community on the Eastern Frontier (2010), as well as articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century subjects in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Winterthur Portfolio, and the Journal of Urban History.

Sally O’Driscoll teaches English at Fairfield University. Her work on eighteenth-century literature and culture has appeared in such journals as Signs, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, and Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation.

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1  Introduction — ‘Fugitive Pieces’ and ‘Gaudy Books’: Textual, Historical, and Visual Interpretations of Ephemera in the Long Eighteenth Century, Kevin D. Murphy and Sally O’Driscoll

Part I: Definitions and Categorizations
2  Of Grubs and Other Insects: Constructing the Categories of ‘Ephemera’ and ‘Literature’ in Eighteenth-Century British Writing, Paula McDowell
3  Digitizing Ephemera and Its Discontents: EBBA’s Quest to Capture the Protean Broadside Ballad, Patricia Fumerton
4  What Gets Printed from Oral Tradition: Anna Gordon’s Ephemeral Ballads, Ruth Perry
5  Approaches to Ephemera: Scottish Broadsides, 1679–1746, Adam Fox
6  Ephemera at the American Antiquarian Society: Perspectives on Commercial Life in the Long Eighteenth Century, Georgia Barnhill

Part II: Text and Image
7  Making Sense of Broadside Ballad Illustrations in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Alexandra Franklin
8  ‘A Battleground Around the Crime’: The Visuality of Execution Ephemera and Its Cultural Significances in Late Seventeenth-Century England, Tara Burk
9  From ‘The Easter Wedding’ to ‘The Frantick Lover’: The Repeated Woodcut and Its Shifting Roles, Theodore Barrow
10  What Kind of Man Do the Clothes Make? Print Culture and the Meanings of Macaroni Effeminacy, Sally O’Driscoll


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