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CFP: Edith Wharton and the Material Cul...

Contributors are encouraged to interpret the idea of the material culture of the book as widely as they wish, ýdrawing upon research from sociology, economic and social history, literary theory, bibliography, book ýhistory, philosophy and anthropology. I would particularly welcome contributors seeking to examine ýWharton’s publication, production, dissemination and place in book history and material culture outside of an ýAmerican context. Some topics that you might wish to discuss include:ý

Wharton’s relationship with her publishers in the USA, UK, France and elsewhere The economics of the book trade and its impact on Wharton’s writing Wharton and her literary agents The representation of the book as ‘material culture’ in Wharton’s fiction The production and distribution of Wharton’s books (especially during WW1)ý Wharton’s libraries, real and fictional Propaganda and the material and moral utility (or economy) of the book Wharton’s own understanding of the material culture of the book vis-à-vis visual art, music, drama or ýfilm Contemporary theories (from economics, politics and philosophy) of the material value of literature ýthat impinged upon Wharton and her writing Contingent serialisation vs. the definitive volume: a material or immaterial distinction?ý Expatriation vs. domesticity: the material freight of literature Wharton’s bibliophilia: material or sentimental?ý When is a book a book? Material culture, ‘dry goods’ and the idea of the book in the American ýý‘Gilded Age’ and afterý Recent theoretical work by Bourdieu, Chartier, Darnton etc and its relevance to Wharton scholarship Advertising Wharton’s books Material culture and the mass market for fiction: elite vs. popular consumption patterns Wharton’s sensitivity over the presentation (binding, paper, punctuation etc) of her books ý ý

Please register your interest in this project by sending an abstract of c.500 words and a brief CV by the ýdeadline of 1 October 2006 to the editor, Dr Shafquat Towheed at Accepted ýcontributors will have until 1 April 2007 to submit their manuscripts, which should ordinarily be c.7000-8500 ýwords in length. If you wish to discuss this project, feel free to contact me.ý

Dr Shafquat Towheed, Institute of English Studies, The University of Londoný


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