As scholars and students of literatures in English, we study the ways that the linguistic meanings of writing are supplemented by culturally, historically, and materially specific contexts. Some contexts have to do with ideas about literacy and the ways that writing differs from speech as well as from other forms of expression like gesture and the graphic arts. Additional contexts have to do with bibliographic meanings, with the ways that readers have learned to experience the variable size, layout, design, and format of texts as they use them. Still more contexts have to do with the different ways that media—including print—have been developed and mobilized.
Our research, writing, teaching, and learning center variously on inquiries in book history and media theory, including Medieval manuscript culture and Renaissance writing arts; eighteenth-century theories of orality and literacy; reading and readers in the nineteenth-century U.S. and the British Empire; African-American readers and authorship; nineteenth-century British radical print, serialization, and periodical formats; the history, present, and future of digital media; intersections of words and images; the role of genre in shaping rhetorical action; the organization of knowledge and theories and histories of writing and literacy across places and periods.
As such, this working group is necessarily interdisciplinary, and seeks to serve all the above at any intersection between aforementioned inquiries.
Contact Alijan Ozkiral or Samriddhi Agrawal for more information
Faculty Advisors: Paula McDowell, Lisa Gitelman