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 the manufacture and dissemination of printed books and the nature of reading during the era of the Tudor monarchs (1485-1603). In particular, they plan to pose the governing question of whether the advent of printing was a necessary precondition for the emergence of new reading practices associated with the Renaissance and Reformation. Participants will consider ways in which readers responded to elements such as book layout, typography, illustration, and paratext (e.g., prefaces, glosses, and commentaries). Employing key methods of the history of the book and the history of reading, this 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 English Renaissance and/or Reformation, the history of the book, the history of reading, 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 20 July 2012. During the first week of this program, we shall visit 1) Antwerp, Belgium, in order to draw on resources including the Plantin-Moretus Museum (the world’s only surviving Renaissance printing and publishing house) and 2) London, England, in order to attend a rare-book workshop at Senate House Library and consider treasures at the British Library. During four ensuing weeks at Oxford, participants will reside at St. Edmund Hall as they draw on the rare book and manuscript holdings of the Bodleian Library and other institutions.
Those eligible to apply include citizens of USA who are engaged in teaching at the college or university level, graduate students, 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 2012 are eligible to apply. NEH will provide participants with a stipend of $3,900.
Full details and application information are available at http://www.jmu.edu/english /Tudor_Books_and_Readers. For further information, please contact Mark Rankin (firstname.lastname@example.org). The application deadline is March 1, 2012.