Saturday, 7 July 2018, 2:00pm-3:00pm, State Library of New South Wales, Gallery Room

Talk: Professor Ian Gadd – The Forgotten History of the Dog-Ear

Professor Ian Gadd (Bath Spa University) will trace the history of folding the corner of a page and the dog-earing practices in England, from the 16th century onwards, revealing a hitherto unexplored area of readerly engagement. He will argue that, rather than being dismissed as a symbol of misuse, the dog-ear ought to be understood as an emblem of active, meaningful use. Marginalia and manicules have had their histories told; the dog-ear should have its day.

Monday, 9 July 2018, 5:00pm-6:00pm, State Library of New South Wales, Gallery Room

The Charles Harpur Critical Archive

The Charles Harpur Critical Archive (click here to view) is a digital archive and a scholarly edition of the poetic works of Charles Harpur (1813–1868), the most important poet of colonial New South Wales. A Romantic celebrator of Australian landscape, an early environmentalist, a political satirist and love poet Harpur and his works remain vitally alive today. But they are not easily accessible.

This is because Harpur was a prolific poet and an inveterate reviser. Extant today in manuscript, and in colonial newspaper and other printed forms, are roughly 2,700 versions of his 700 works in verse, as well as the often fascinating prose notes that he wrote for them. Most of these versions have never been published – until now.

The archival phase of the CHCA is published in 2018, the 150th anniversary of Harpur’s death.  The editorial phase – the establishment of reading texts and the provision of commentary and annotation  – will follow over a number of years. Offers of collaboration from scholars in this phase are warmly invited; the tools for this will be ready by 2019.

Editor and project leader Paul Eggert; Technical designer and programmer Desmond Schmidt; Digital archivist Meredith Sherlock; Principal collaborators Michael Falk (poem assessments), Chris Vening (biographical entries), Elizabeth Webby (historical annotation).

Tuesday, 10 July 2018, 1:00pm-1:30pm, Western Sydney University, EE Auditorium Wing Room

Book Launch: Helen Bones, The Expatriate Myth: New Zealand writers and the colonial world (Otago University Press, New Zealand, 2018).

Many New Zealand writers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century travelled extensively or lived overseas for a time, and they often led very interesting lives. The received wisdom is that they were forced to leave these colonial backblocks in search of literary inspiration and publishing opportunities. In The Expatriate Myth (click here to order), Helen Bones presents a challenge to this conventional understanding, based on detailed historical and empirical research. Was it actually necessary for them to leave to find success? How prevalent was expatriatism among New Zealand writers? Did their experiences fit the usual tropes about expatriatism and exile? Were they fleeing an oppressive society lacking in literary opportunity?

In the field of literary studies, scholars are often consumed with questions about ‘national’ literature and ‘what it means to be a New Zealander’. And yet many of New Zealand’s writers living overseas operated in a transnational way, taking advantage of colonial networks in a way that belies any notion of a single national allegiance. Most who left  New Zealand, even if they were away for a time, continued to write about and interact with their homeland, and in many cases came back. In this fascinating and clear-sighted book, Helen Bones offers a fresh perspective on some hoary New Zealand literary chestnuts.

Book Launch: Victoria Kuttainen, Susann Liebich, and Sarah Galletly, The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and the Geographical Imaginaries of Colonial Modernity (Cambria Press, New York, June 2018).

In the early twentieth century, new technologies of media, communication, and transportation opened up a world of possibilities and led to transformations of the public sphere. Amongst the hundreds of new periodicals flooding the Australian marketplace, quality culture and leisure magazines beckoned to readers with the glamour of modernity and exotic images of pre-modern paradise. Through instructive and entertaining content, these glossy modern magazines widened the horizons of non-metropolitan audiences and connected readers in rapidly urbanising cities such as Sydney and Melbourne with the latest fashions, current affairs, and cultural offerings of London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and beyond.

The Transported Imagination is based on thorough research into an archive of important yet under-examined modern Australian periodicals and makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on magazines and middlebrow culture in the interwar period. It offers new insights into the formation of the tastes of a rapidly modernising and differentiating reading public, as well as new understandings of the cultures of vernacular modernity and colonialism. Its analysis of Australian colonial modernity provides a model for examining collisions of modernity and colonialism, and for investigating connections between geographical imaginaries and social mobility, in other international contexts.

The Transported Imagination includes over twenty colour images and will appeal to a wide range of scholars.  Primary audiences are scholars of Australian cultural and literary history; and scholars of print culture, reading history, the middlebrow, mobility studies, media history, and colonial modernity in other national or local milieus. The Transported Imagination can be purchased at the Better Read Than Dead stall at a 50% discount for the hardcover and a 25% discount for the e-book edition for the duration of the SHARP 2018 conference. The hardcover edition can also be purchased direct from Cambria Press at a 40% discount with the promotional code SHARP18.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Western Sydney University, Female Orphan School, PS-EZ.G.22, 23

Pre-Publication Launch: Mark Curran, The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe, Vol I: Selling Enlightenment (Bloomsbury, London, 2018).

Volume 1 is a ground-breaking contribution to enlightenment studies and the international and cross-cultural history of print. The result of a five year research project, the volume traces the output and dissemination of books and how reading tastes changed in the years 1769-1794. Mapping the book trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a Swiss publisher-wholesaler which operated throughout Europe, the authors reconstruct the cosmopolitan elite culture of the later enlightenment, incorporating many engaging case studies. The STN’s archives are uniquely rich in both detail and range, and while these archives have long attracted book historians (notably Robert Darnton, a leading scholar of the Enlightenment), existing work is fragmentary and limited in scope. By means of comparative study, the author considers the entire book market across Europe, making local, regional and chronological nuances, based on advanced taxonomies of subject content, author information, markers of illegality and much more. This volume is, in short, the most diverse and detailed study of the late 18th-century book trade yet, while offering fresh insights into the enlightenment.

Pre-Publication Launch: Simon Burrows, The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe, Vol II: Enlightenment Bestsellers (Bloomsbury, London, 2018).

Digital Showcase: the Martin, Mylne and Frautschi database of the French novel.

Volume II is a rich and path-breaking comparative study of reading tastes in the final years of old regime Europe. Based on extensive research in the account books of the Swiss publishers, the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), and related archives, it charts the dissemination of literature and reading tastes across Europe in the years leading up to the French revolution. In the process, it recasts our understanding of late 18th-century print culture and the contours of the enlightenment. The fruit of a widely acclaimed five year database project, the STN database, it is also a story of pioneering efforts to apply the latest digital technology and GIS mapping techniques to traditional historical and bibliographic problems.

Although written to serve as a standalone study, this book is ideally complemented by its companion volume, Mark Curran’s The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe I: Selling Enlightenment, which offers a radical reinterpretation of the structure and practices of the European book trade. The STN database is now recognised as a cutting-edge digital project of global significance. Robert Darnton has called it “a prodigious accomplishment and a joy to use” while Jeremy Popkin adds, “No one working in the field of French Enlightenment studies … can afford to ignore the rich mine of data that Simon Burrows and his collaborators have made accessible, in an eminently usable form, and the new possibilities it opens up for scholars.” The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe I and II offer a roadmap of that data and what it can show us.

Book Launch: Hart Cohen, The Strehlow Archive: Explorations in Old and New Media (Routledge, London, 2018).

Digital Showcase: Journey to Horseshoe Bend Database / Film: Ntaria Heroes

To be launched by Shaun Angeles Penangke, Artwe‑kenhe (men’s) collection researcher at the Strehlow Research Centre, Alice Springs. The Strehlow Archive is one of Australia’s most important collections of film, sound, archival records and museum objects relating to the ceremonial life of Aboriginal people. The aim of this book is to provide a significant study of the relationship of archives to contemporary forms of digital mediation. The volume introduces a specific archive, the Strehlow Collection, and tracks the ways in which its materials and research dissemination practices are influenced by media forms we now identify with the emergence of digital technology. A discount form will be available at the launch.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018, 1:00pm-1:30pm, Western Sydney University, EE Auditorium Wing Room

Book Launch by Professor Claire Squires: Millicent Weber, Literary Festivals and Contemporary Book Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, United Kingdom, 2018).

There has been a proliferation of literary festivals in recent decades, with more than 450 held annually in the UK and Australia alone. These festivals operate as tastemakers shaping cultural consumption; as educational and policy projects; as instantiations, representations, and celebrations of literary communities; and as cultural products in their own right. As such they strongly influence how literary culture is produced, circulates and is experienced by readers in the twenty-first century. This book explores how audiences engage with literary festivals, and analyses these festivals’ relationship to local and digital literary communities, to the creative industries focus of contemporary cultural policy, and to the broader literary field. The relationship between literary festivals and these configuring forces is illustrated with in-depth case studies of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Port Eliot Festival, the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and the Clunes Booktown Festival. Building on interviews with audiences and staff, contextualised by a large-scale online survey of literary festival audiences from around the world, this book investigates these festivals’ social, cultural, commercial, and political operation. In doing so, this book (click here to order) critically orients scholarly investigation of literary festivals with respect to the complex and contested terrain of contemporary book culture.

Thursday, 12 July 2018, 1:00pm-1:30pm, Western Sydney University, EE Auditorium Wing Room

Book Launch: David Carter and Roger Osborne, Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace 1840s–1940s ( Sydney University Press, Australia, 2018).

Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace 1840s–1940s explores how Australian writers and their works fared in the United States between 1840 and the mid-twentieth century. Drawing on fresh archival research and combining the approaches of literary criticism, print culture studies and book history, David Carter and Roger Osborne demonstrate that Australian writing was transnational long before the contemporary period. In mapping Australian literature’s connections to British and US markets, their research challenges established understandings about national, imperial and world literatures.

Carter and Osborne examine how Australian authors, editors and publishers engaged productively with their American counterparts, and how American readers and reviewers responded to Australian works. They consider the role played by British publishers in taking Australian writing to America, and how the international circulation of new literary genres created new opportunities for novelists to move between markets. Some of these writers, such as Christina Stead and Patrick White, remain household names; others who once enjoyed international fame, such as Rosa Praed and Alice Grant Rosman, have been largely forgotten. The story of their books in America reveals how culture, commerce and copyright law interacted in unexpected and sometimes unpredictable ways.

David Carter is Professor of Australian Literature and Cultural History in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland. Roger Osborne is Lecturer in English and Writing at James Cook University, Cairns.