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NEH Book History Summer Seminar at the Huntington Library, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017   (0 Comments)

John N. King of The Ohio State University and Mark Rankin of James Madison University will direct a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on continuity and change in the production, dissemination, and reading of Western European books during the 200 years following the advent of printing with movable type. In particular, they plan to pose the governing question of whether the advent of printing was a necessary precondition for the Protestant Reformation. Participants will consider ways in which adherents of different religious faiths shared common ground in exploiting elements such as book layout, typography, illustration, and paratext (e.g., prefaces, glosses, and commentaries) in order to inspire reading, but also to restrict interpretation. Employing key methods of the History of the Book, our investigation will consider how the physical nature of books affected ways in which readers understood and assimilated their intellectual contents.

This program is geared to meet the needs of teacher-scholars interested in the literary, political, or cultural history of the Renaissance and/or Reformation, the History of the Book, art history, women’s studies, religious studies, bibliography, print culture, library science (including rare book librarians), mass communication, literacy studies, and more. This seminar will meet from 18 June until 15 July 2017 at The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, one of the nation's leading research and cultural centers. Among the Library’s 420,000 rare books and seven million manuscripts are major holdings in medieval manuscripts, books printed before 1501, Renaissance history and literature, maps, travel literature, and the history of science, medicine, and technology. The Huntington also boasts art galleries containing 650 paintings and 440 works of sculpture, as well as twelve botanical gardens containing 15,000 plant varieties.

Those eligible to apply include citizens of USA who are engaged in teaching at the college or university level and independent scholars who have received the terminal degree in their field (usually the Ph.D.). In addition, non-US citizens who have taught and lived in the USA for at least three years prior to March 2017 are eligible to apply. NEH will provide participants with a stipend of $3,300. Up to three spaces will be reserved for adjunct faculty. Full details and application information are available at http://sites.jmu.edu/NEHformation-reformation-books2017/. For further information, please contact rankinmc@jmu.edu. The deadline for application is March 1, 2017.


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