CFP: The Politics of British Literary Collections (12/1/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Pruitt, John
contact email: 

For an edition of scholarly essays on The Politics of British Literary Collections

Deadline for abstracts: December 1, 2005

John Pruitt, University of Wisconsin-Marshfield
Sarah Pogell, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Interested Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Press

Scholarship in literary and cultural studies has recently expressed a great deal of interest in the practice of collecting. With her seminal study Making the Modern Reader, Barbara Benedict introduced us to the complexities of anthologies of poetry and prose, collections uniting readers in part by "recontextualizing literature to neutralize political messages." Following Benedict, a number of scholars in museum studies, history, and literature have demonstrated that collecting in a variety of contexts is actually steeped in ideology, either reinforcing or undermining dominant political and social categories. In Susan Pearce's words, "Like all activities, [collecting] is embedded in culture, but through its reflexive nature, it is active within culture."

For this collection of essays, we welcome proposals considering the politics (in all meanings of the word) at work in the production and consumption of British literary collections from medieval manuscript anthologies to the seventh edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors (2000). Topics might include, but are certainly not limited to:

-public or private literary collections
-genre-specific or author-specific collections
-collections of Scottish, Irish, and/or Welsh texts
-collections of GLBT and women's writing
-collections of translations, letters, or juvenilia
-collections and canonicity

Examples of submissions currently under consideration:

-"Chaucer 'Polyced': The Reformation of Manners and the Politics of 'Collected Works'"
-"Scandalous Will: or, Congreve's Library as Marriage Property"
-"The Anthology as Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Elocution in Britain and America, 1750-1800"
-"The Druggist and the Decorator:  The Collections of Henry Wellcome and William Morris"

Please forward cv and abstract of 250-300 words by December 1, 2005, preferably by e-mail, to:

John Pruitt -
Assistant Professor
English Department
University of Wisconsin-Marshfield
2000 W. Fifth Street
Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449

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Received on Wed Aug 17 2005 - 06:03:59 EDT