Online Panel | Race and the Boundaries of the Book

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on October 17, 2020

I’m especially excited about the prerecorded videos (most 6–8 minutes); it’s an interesting way to maximize the potential of this RBS online session and also extend the value of the event well beyond the confines of the original session. CH

Race and the Boundaries of the Book: Seven Early American Perspectives
Rare Book School Online, 20 October 2020, 5–6pm (ET)

A 45-minute panel discussion followed by 15 minutes of Q&A scheduled for Tuesday, 20 October 2020, 5–6pm ET, via Zoom. Owing to Zoom’s restrictions, this event is limited to the first 300 people who register. The event will be recorded and made available for viewing on the RBS YouTube channel.

Through video presentations of individual case studies, seven early Americanists zoom in on a range of bookish artifacts and employ critical bibliography to recover overlooked narratives about race from the historical record. Specifically, they examine how racialized and marginalized early American subjects speak through bibliographical concepts and formats. What can the materialities of textual artifacts tell us about the elaboration of racial identities? How does specific attention to African American and Indigenous readers and writers in early American literature and culture—a field that has traditionally privileged white subjects—gain traction by looking at formats, bindings, and paper surfaces on which writing and printing occur? Formats, the panelists argue, are everything but neutral containers. Following a chronological order, the video presentations examine the boundaries of “the book” and the complex richness of small and overlooked forms for recovering dismissed and erased readers, writers, and print artisans.

Rather than a traditional academic conference panel, the participants intend to create an engaging conversation by incorporating an innovative blend of pre-recorded video, focused analysis of specific material texts, and a live-streamed panel discussion of how their work engages with larger questions raised by the fields of early American literature and book history.

The panelists are Tara A. Bynum (University of Iowa), Alan Corbiere (York University), Michael Galban (Seneca Art & Cultural Center, Ganondagan State Historic Site), John H. Pollack (University of Pennsylvania), Phillip Round (University of Iowa), Michaël Roy (Université Paris Nanterre), and Derrick Spires (Cornell University). Steffi Dippold (Kansas State University) and John J. Garcia (Florida State University) are moderating the session.

The panelists have pre-recorded BiblioVideos in preparation for the panel discussion, which can be accessed here or by clicking on the titles below. They plan to summarize the argument during the panel, but the audience should watch the BiblioVideos in advance to prepare for their discussion. The videos are listed in the recommended viewing order below:

Everyone is welcome to attend. To ensure the security of the event, advance registration is required; to register, click here. Registration closes at 8am ET the day of the event. Your registration will be automatically accepted. You will receive an email reminder the day before the event. The day of the event, we will send you the Zoom URL and password. Please direct any questions to RBS Programs at rbs-events@virginia.edu.

Follow the conversation on social media using hashtags #RBSOnline and #RBSEarlyAmBookHistory.

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