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Five College Book History Seminar

The Five College Book History Seminar series is a collaborative lecture series that focuses on the production, circulation, and reception of early modern and medieval texts. These lectures are assembled in collaboration with Jim Kelly, Humanities Research Services Librarian at DuBois Library, and Jim Wald, Associate Professor of History at Hampshire College.  

Spring 2024

Bryan Sinche, University of Hartford, 'Black Self-Publishers in Nineteenth Century New England'. May 2

Andrew Yang, Hampshire College, 'Reading (and Writing) the Book of Nature'. March 21.

Fall 2023

Matteo Pangallo, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Emily Todd, Eastern Connecticut State University, 'Teaching the History of the Book: A Roundtable'. November 30

Erik Kwakkel, University of British Columbia, 'The Hidden Voice of the Medieval Scribe'. November 9

Ginna Closs, UMass Amherst, 'Publishing Martial'. October 19


Spring 2023

Karen Kukil, Smith College, 'Editing Sylvia Plath'. June 15

Beth Bouloukos and Hannah Brooks-Motl, Amhert College Press, 'Amherst College Press and open access materials'. April 27

Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia, 'Books, Beasts, and Biomes: The Many Lives of Parchment'. April 20

Shannon Mattern. University of Pennsylvania. 'Case Logics: A Catalog of Intellectual Furnishings'. February 23

Fall 2022

Elise Takehana, Fitchburg State, 'The Sentimentalized Book: A Visual Anachronism?' October 13.

Beth Myers, Smith College, Tour of the new Smith College Library. October 20.

Josh Lambert, Wellesley College, 'Jews in American Publishing'. November 17.

Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University, 'Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs'. December 1.

Spring 2022

Caroline Wigginton, University of Mississippi, 'Angel de Cora, Ho-Chunk Craftwork, and the Design of Native Print'. February 10.

Jenny Adams, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 'Student Debt and Doodling: Scholarly Manuscripts and Academic Loans in Medieval Oxford'. March 3.

Kathy Roberts Forde, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 'How the White News Media Built a Violent, White Supremacist,       Anti-democratic, Near Totalitarian Society in the U.S. South, 1875-1920.' April 14

Joseph Adelman, Framingham State University, 'Trans-Atlantic Correspondence and Imperial News Narratives in the Revolutionary Era'. May 5

Fall 2021

Gigi Barnhill, American Antiquarian Society, 'Print Making Processes in Nineteenth-Century American Books'. October 14.

Ken Botnick, emdash design, 'A Conversation with Diderot: Making a Book to Discover My Subject'. October 21.

Hannah Hunter-Parker, Amherst College, 'Vanishing with a Trace: Medieval Manuscripts in the Age of Lithography'. November 18. 

Asheesh Siddique, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 'The Ideological Origins of American "Written" Constitutionalism'. December 9

Spring 2021

Maria Damkjær, University of Copenhagen, 'Page fillers in nineteenth century periodicals.' Febraury 18.

Joshua Teplitsky, Stony Brook University, 'Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library.' March 18.

Jennifer Burek Pierce, University of Iowa, 'Narratives, Nerdfighters, and New Media.' April 8.

Yael Rice, Amherst College, 'The Emperor’s Eye and the Painter’s Brush: Artists and Agency at the Mughal Court.' May 27.

Fall 2020

Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania, 'Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe.' September 17.

Amy Hildreth Chen, University of Iowa, 'What Comes Next?' October 1.

Marie Léger-St-Jean, Founder of Price One Penny, 'The Nightmare Before Christmas; or The Trials and Rewards of Building a Database.' October 28.

Gretchen Gerzina, Dean of the Commonwealth Honors College and Paul Murray Kendall Chair in Biography, University of Massachusetts Amherst, "Sarah E. Farro: What a Forgotten African American Novelist Can Tell Us about British Victorian Literature." December 10

Spring 2020

Kathryn Schwartz, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 'Between governing powers and the elite public sphere: an alternative model for the rise of modern print culture, Cairo, 19th c.'

Fall 2019

Karen Kurczynski, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 'Memory and History in the Situationist Artists' Books of Guy Debord and Asger Jorn'

Donna Harrington-Lueker, Salve Regina University, 'Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading'

Fan Wang, UMass Amherst, 'Agency in the Margins: Readers and Book-collectors in Late Imperial China"

Spring 2019

Hayley Cotter, PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst, "The 1517 Theuerdank and Maximilian I's Uses of Print."

Sean Moore, Professor of English, University of New Hampshire, "New Methods for the Study of Reading via Circulation Records and Portraiture: Evidence from the Salem Social Library and Redwood Library."

Amy Halliday, Gallery Director, Hampshire College Art Gallery, "Book Arts Unbound: Collecting and Curating Contemporary Artists' Books."

Polina Barskova, Professor of Russian Literature, Hampshire College, "Life and Death of Books during the Siege of Leningrad."

Fall 2018

Jessica Maier, Associate Professor of Art History, Mount Holyoke College, "News, Real and Fake, from the Front: Mapping the Great Siege of Malta (1565)."

Ann Blair, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor, Harvard University, "Servant-Functions and Author-Functions in Early Modern Europe."

Spring 2018

Nancy Bradbury, Smith College, "Healing Charms in the Lincoln Thorton Manuscript"

Kate Singer, Mount Holyoke College, "Hot Links and the Old Post: Keats's Epistolary Imagination in the Digital Age"

Ilan Stavans, Amherst College, "Popol Vuh: Latin America's Book of Creation"

Fall 2017

Joseph Black, Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, "'A Potency of Life': The Material History of Books and Reading" 

Amy Sopcak Joseph, Department of History, University of Connecticut, "Combating Swindlers and Borrowers: Buying and Selling Godey's Lady's Book in the Nineteenth Century"

Leah Price, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English Literature, Harvard University, "Overbooked: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Reading Wars"

Spring 2017

Albert Lloret, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, "From Song to Printed Book: Medieval Lyric Poetry in the Renaissance"

Andrea Stone, Smith College, "Broadside, Pamphlet, Book: Early Black American Print Cultures and the Digital Archive"

Emily Todd, Chair of the Department of English and Founding Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, Westfield State University, "Managing Happiness: A Study of Children's Books Published by Graves & Ellis in Postbellum Boston"

Fall 2016

Michael Kelly, Head of the Archives & Special Collections Amherst College, "Samson Occom and the Uses of Bibliography" 

Michael Penn, Mount Holyoke College, "Something Old and Something New: Computer Assisted Paleography and the Analysis of Ancient Manuscripts"