Steve Grant’s First Folio Tour

This year, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (on April 23, 1616), the Folger Shakespeare Library has organized an extraordinary tour of First Folios from the Folger collection to all fifty states.  Steve Grant, author of our widely-admired Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger, has undertaken an similarly ambitious speaking schedule that will take him to several of the hosting libraries, museums, and institutions participating in the tour.  We’ve invited Steve to provide regular updates as he follows the First Folios around the country, speaking about their important literary and cultural history the extraordinary legacy of Henry and Emily Folger.

Guest post by Stephen H. Grant

Steve March 1

On display in the New Mexico Museum of Art during February, 2016, Shakespeare’s First Folio open to the “To Be or Not To Be” speech in Hamlet.

Partnering with St. Johns College in Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art won the competition to host the First Folio Exhibition from February 5 to February 28, 2016. While the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC––only two blocks from the U.S. Capitol––required that host institutions organize at least FOUR events during the exhibit, the Museum arranged FORTY events.

One event was the Shakespeare Treasure Hunt. Youngsters picked up a free treasure map and followed clues based on quotations from the Bard that led them downtown to declaim the lines to local merchants. Visitors from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art put on a workshop on the breath, sound, and articulation on Shakespeare’s sonnets, including practice in reading Shakespeare out loud. The Museum organized a day of love and art where participants created cards, heart ornaments, and Valentine’s Day collages inspired by Shakespeare.

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Director of the Palace Press at New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, Tom Leech, demonstrates a wooden hand press like those used in early 17th century England.

Of all the First Folio Exhibit venues, New Mexico is the only state where a government was operating when Shakespeare was alive and writing The Tempest. Across the street from the New Mexico Museum of Art is the New Mexico History Museum, created in 1610 as Palace of the Governors, when Spain established its seat of government in Santa Fe to cover what is now the American southwest. It is the oldest continuously occupied building in the United States. Award-winning Palace Press printers Tom Leech and James Bourland mounted a multi-part exhibit where they printed facsimiles of a First Folio page using a replica Gutenberg wooden hand press. Visitors were invited to make their own prints to take home.

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Steve Grant outside New Mexico Museum of Art before his talk to 200 enthusiastic Shakespeare addicts.

In Conversation with John F. Andrews, President of the Shakespeare Guild, I spoke in St. Francis Auditorium on Collecting Shakespeare and the First Folio to 200 Shakespeare enthusiasts come from the area to catch a glimpse of the First Folio on display in an adjacent room and opened to the “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy from Hamlet. The Shakespeare Society bid adieu to the First Folio on February 28 by performing familiar farewell scenes from Shakespeare.

Stephen H. Grant is the author of Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folgerpublished by Johns Hopkins. He is a senior fellow at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training and the author of Peter Strickland: New London Shipmaster, Boston Merchant, First Consul to Senegal. We expect Steve’s next report on the First Folio tour after he speaks in San Diego on June 22 the San Diego Public Library.

STEVE’S 2016 FIRST FOLIO TOUR

April 15, Noon
The Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of D.C.
Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 I St., SW, Washington, D.C. 20024
OPEN TO MEMBERSHIP

Steve March 3

Tom Leech designed and printed this “WANTED Willy the Kid” poster displayed in many Santa Fe store windows during the residence of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare First Folio.

April 18, 10:30 am – noon
Live & Learn Bethesda Talk
4805 Edgemoor Ln, Bethesda, MD 20814
REGISTRATION REQUIRED

June 21, 11:00 am
Calvary Presbyterian Church Seniors Program Talk
2515 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94115
PRIVATE EVENT

June 22, 6:30 pm
San Diego Public Library Talk
330 Park Blvd., San Diego CA 92101
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

June 23, 6:00 pm
San Francisco Public Library Talk
Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St, San Francisco CA 94102
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

September 29, 6:30 pm
Cathedral West Condominiums Talk
4100 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington DC, 20016
FOR RESIDENTS AND GUESTS

 

 

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The Philosophy of Editing

JackZupkoAn editorial change took place at the Journal of the History of Philosophy last year as Jack Zupko took over the top position for the journal from Steven Nadler. Zupko had previously served as Book Review Editor for JHP, which celebrated 50 years of publishing several years ago. Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Alberta, Zupko joined our podcast series to talk about his transition into the new position as well as plans for the future for JHP.

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An Equation for Every Occasion: Pi Day

Happy Pi Day, readers! In between celebratory pie samplings, get an inside look at the historical context of this famous Greek letter as told by John M. Henshaw, author of An Equation for Every Occasion: 52 Formulas and Why They Matter, coming in paperback this summer.

Click here for pi goodness.

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Looking for more historical context from “Equationland”? Use promo code “HDPD” to receive a 30% discount when you order your copy of An Equation for Every Occasion.

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Killing King Caucus

Guest post by Mark G. Schmeller

In this seemingly endless presidential primary season, each and every candidate has claimed “outsider” status, and attacked nearly every other rival as a creature of the party “establishment.” No title or distinction – Senator, Governor, First Lady, Secretary of State, sibling/brother of former presidents, celebrity billionaire – has been too great to discourage presidential aspirants from presenting their campaigns as bold insurgencies against the complacency and corruption of the powers that be.

While there is nothing especially novel about such populist self-fashioning, the extraordinary volume of groaning about “the establishment” in this campaign cycle has led some political observers to ask if the establishment is in fact in decline. Are the elected officials, elites, big donors, and special interests that have traditionally steered the party nomination process losing their influence? Have new forms of social media and activism trumped (sorry for that) the conventional reliance on grassroots electioneering and penthouse fundraising? Can party structures no longer contain the intensifying anger wrought by “negative partisanship” – in which positive support for the principles and policies of a party weigh less in the mind of the voter than loathing for the other party and its partisans?

Needless to say, these questions will have to wait for answers. But in the meantime, we can entertain some historical analogies. One especially dramatic example of a party establishment defeated comes to us from the presidential election of 1824, when anger over the nomination process shattered the Democratic-Republican Party. During President James Monroe’s two terms in office (1817-1825), national party competition had all but disappeared. The Federalist Party, discredited by its seeming disloyalty during the War of 1812, had been reduced to a small band of New England reactionaries, leaving Democratic-Republicans as the only viable national party. While the absence of partisan competition may have allowed for a brief “era of good feelings,” one-party rule raised a number of thorny political and constitutional questions. A party congressional caucus had traditionally selected party nominees for President and Vice-President. But with only one party caucus remaining, the Democratic-Republican “King Caucus” now appeared to have the uncontested and arguably unconstitutional power to select Monroe’s successor.

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James Akin, Caucus curs in full yell, or a war whoop, to saddle on the people, a pappoose president (1824). General Andrew Jackson stands tall amidst a pack of dogs representing newspapers who supported the Congressional Caucus nominee William Crawford. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

King Caucus had been attacked before. When it chose Monroe over William Crawford of Georgia in 1816, Crawford supporters and many northerners complained that Virginians used it to maintain their lock on the White House. But King Caucus had its share of defenders, who maintained that congressmen could best ascertain the preferences of partisans in their districts and states. John Taylor of Caroline, the prolific theorist of Jeffersonian democracy, argued that the caucus discouraged faction. But should it “ever attempt to control public opinion instead of expressing it, their doings would have little influence in the nation other than to embitter party animosity and to sharpen the edge of political strife.”

In 1824, King Caucus appeared to be doing just that. Monroe had identified no clear successor (his Vice-President, Daniel Tompkins of New York, was an insolvent alcoholic). Three eminent national figures – General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, and Henry Clay of Kentucky intended to run regardless of what the caucus did, and their supporters assailed King Caucus as a vast conspiracy against the sovereignty of the people. Senator Rufus King, an Adams supporter, called it “a self-created central power … regulated by a sort of freemasonry, the sign and password of each at once placing the initiated in full confidence and communion with each other in all parts of the union.” Publisher Hezekiah Niles of Maryland, a Clay man, declared that “he would rather learn that the halls of Congress were converted into common brothels” than to see King Caucus convene within them.

Not surprisingly, the most intense attacks on King Caucus came from Jackson supporters, who began to organize popular local “conventions” for Old Hickory. Conventioneers carefully distinguished the caucus, a small and exclusive meeting of elites designed to direct public opinion, from the convention, an open meeting of the people designed to concentrate public opinion. The “period has surely arrived,” a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania convention declared, “when a president should be elected from the ranks of the people,” a president like Jackson, who came “pure, untrammeled, and unpledged, from the bosom of the people.” Such rhetoric solidified the outsider image of Jackson, a frontier military hero riding a wave of populist discontent unleashed by the financial panic of 1819.

All of this persuaded the great majority of congressmen to steer clear of the caucus. When it eventually met to nominate William Crawford, only 66 of 216 eligible members attended. King Caucus was dead.

Some observers heralded the killing of King Caucus as a triumph of public opinion over party machinery. But to more discerning political minds, it suggested that there could be no effective public opinion without party mechanisms that involved the ordinary voter, flattered his judgment, and fired his enthusiasm. The election of 1824 – and Jackson’s eventual triumph in 1828 – laid the groundwork for a “second party system” built upon precinct-by-precinct organization, popular conventions, and intense partisan feeling. Party establishments can be defeated; partisanship, not so much.

schmellerMark G. Schmeller is an associate professor of history at Syracuse University. His latest book, Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstructionexamines the idea of public opinion and its transformation since the Revolutionary War.

Use promo code “HDPD” to receive a 30% discount when you order your copy of Invisible Sovereign.

 

 

 

 

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Two local treasures head to the Library of Congress

JHU Press and the book-loving community in Baltimore are losing two treasured colleagues to the Library of Congress. We hate to see them go—but we’re thrilled for both of them and so proud of the extraordinary recognition their appointments represent. Becky Clark, JHUP’s talented and energetic director of marketing and institutional outreach, leaves us this week to become the LOC’s Director of Publishing. Carla Hayden, the widely-respected head of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, has been nominated by President Obama to become the 14th Librarian of Congress.  We extend cheers and best wishes to these exceptional friends and colleagues as their careers take them down the Parkway to the nation’s capital.

Becky BeckyClark has served for twelve years as JHUP’s director of marketing and institutional outreach, overseeing sales, promotion, publicity, rights, and digital publishing strategies for about 170 new books each year. Becky has been an invaluable colleague with a legendary work ethic informed by remarkable judgment, grace, and kindness. Before joining the Press in 2003, she held similar positions at the Brookings Institution Press, the New Republic, Counterpoint Press, and Moon Travel Handbooks.  She has been an adjunct faculty member in George Washington University’s Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program and a past president of Washington Book Publishers. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of American University Presses. In her new position at the Library of Congress, Becky will oversee a program of institutional publications, scholarly and trade books, and consumer products highlighting the Library’s world-famous collections.

CaCarlarla Hayden has been the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore since 1993. Over the years, she and the Pratt staff have been gracious hosts to numerous JHUP authors for book talks, signings, and other programs. Most notably, Carla has been a champion of making Baltimore’s 22-branch library system a beacon of hope and possibility for the citizens of our city. Prior to joining the Pratt, she was Deputy Commissioner and Chief Librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was President of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004 and has served as a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board since 2010. If confirmed by Congress, Carla would be the first woman and the first African-American to lead the LOC.

We are enormously proud and grateful as these two treasured friends and colleagues take up their duties at one of the nation’s greatest institutions, the 214-year-old Library of Congress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Confronting Child Death

Late last year, the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth published a special issue which took a look at the thorny subject of child death. Kathleen Jones organized a discussion of young people and death at the 2013 conference for the Society for the History of Children and Youth, the sponsoring organization for the journal. This event drove the creation of the special issue. Jones, Associate Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech, served as guest editor for the issue with Vassar College Associate Professor of History and Director of Victorian Studies Lydia Murdoch and Tamara Myers, Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia. The trio provided collective answers for a Q&A session.

This issue emanated from 2013 conference panel. How gratifying is it to see some of that work published?

hcy.8.3_frontImmensely gratifying. For the seventh biennial meeting of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, we proposed a group of panels about child death. The conference theme, “Space,” shaped our panels – the papers explored the places of death, the ways that space and place of death shaped the cultural meanings attached to dead children. Publication gave us the opportunity to collect ideas from the conference papers, expand and develop them, and, most importantly, share them widely. The opportunity to publish them also reinforced for us how important, and yet still relatively understudied, the responses to the deaths of children are for the history of childhood. Death provides a cultural frame for the value attached to children. It’s a point Viviana Zelizer made so clear over thirty years ago in her discussion of life insurance for children (Pricing the Priceless Child, 1985) It’s a perspective that the journal publication now invites others to build from and add new understandings to in the future.

In the introduction, it was mentioned that response to the original panel was overwhelming. Why do you think that this area has so much interest?

As the history of childhood has developed in the last thirty years or so, the field has been shaped by questions about agency – questions about what role children played in the past, about what they experienced as they grew up, and about how adults interpreted those experiences and used childhood for political purposes. Getting away from seeing the child as “victim” or “object” has been a part of the rationale for the history of childhood and youth. The same perspective permeates new studies of child death. Earlier histories tended to focus on the question of whether parents developed affective bonds with children and mourned those who died in periods or places with high child mortality. Following Linda Pollock (Forgotten Children: Parent-Child Relations from 1500 to 1900, 1983), numerous scholars have demonstrated that parents deeply mourned the death of children in the past, leading us to explore new types of questions. Whereas death has often been blended into a history of medicine and disease or the history of mourning rituals, the conference theme opened the possibility of exploring the political, social, cultural, and emotional issues associated with risk and death, whether the death of one or of many children. Historians have shown how adults used the threat of death to discipline the young, and how state interventions developed at moments of heightened awareness of child endangerment. At the same time, historians of child death have tracked the emotional loss attached to the death of a child and the ways death has been rendered meaningful for children as well as for adults at both a cultural and a personal level.

Interest was also generated because of child death’s contemporary relevance and our (western) perspective that any young death is premature and demands explication. While death in childhood is an unusual occurrence in many cultures in 2016, it is an all-too-prominent part in others where disease and violence relentlessly attack the young. Where growing into adulthood is the norm, representations of dead and dying children pull at heartstrings, making those images powerful tools for political agendas. Current interest in the history of child death can’t be divorced from the powerful imagery in these contrasting life experiences of children and their prospects for growing into adulthood.

How hard was it to choose what would end up in the journal issue?

Our goal for the issue was to include articles that looked at death in different times and places; we were fortunate to work with panelists who brought such diversity to the conference. In identifying a table of contents that would ensure an issue with broad appeal we also invited additional contributions – notably David Pomfret’s reflective essay on the state of the field. But the underlying theme in the issue was always one of meaning. When a child dies, how is that death explained? When many children die in similar circumstances, how and why are the deaths given a purpose? We think the articles in this collection demonstrate the historical contingency of answers to questions about how we understand and process child death and the ways child death shape the life experiences of children.

We also wanted to show with the issue how researchers are approaching issues of childhood and death from a variety of methodological perspectives. The essays in the volume defy easy categorization, blending methodologies from cultural and social history, oral history, visual arts and material culture, archival studies, and social work. Taken together, though, they suggest the many opportunities for further research on the history of child death.

What did you three learn from working on the issue?

One of most important takeaways from editing this issue is how little we know about the experience of and the meanings attached to child death. The articles here only begin to scratch the surface and leave us with more questions than answers: How did young people themselves understand death? What were the ways that death was made real to them? How did they weave the prospect of death into expectations of their adulthood? We are particularly interested in how answers to these questions changed over time, or in different contexts. For historians of childhood, the role children played in history may well be found in the ways they balanced the prospect of the future with the possibility of death.

How important will it be to revisit this topic in the future?

We hope the experiences of death in childhood and the meanings adults and children give to those experiences will be revisited often as we continue to write the history of children and youth. The articles in this issue remind us that even though death is our universal fate, how we die and how the living are affected by death cannot be captured by that one word. The meanings we attach to death are bounded by the many adjectives we call on to distinguish one death from another… violent death, self-inflicted death, accidental death, epidemic death, slow death from disease or neglect. The articles in this issue begin to address the complexity of this multifaceted word. We expect that scholars will build from these articles to explore the range of experiences, emotions, and meanings associated with child death, and show us the many ways the deaths of some children have shaped the lives of others.

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Remembering Ralph Cohen

By Anne E. Bromley, UVA Today Associate

Longtime University of Virginia English professor Ralph Cohen, who founded the internationally known scholarly journal New Literary History, died Feb. 23 – his 99th birthday – in Charlottesville.

Cohen joined the UVA faculty in 1967 and retired 42 years later as William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of English. He founded New Literary History in 1969 as a new type of academic journal devoted to the role of theory in exploring literary and cultural questions.

UVA President Emeritus and University Professor John T. Casteen III, a colleague of Cohen’s in the English department, noted that the journal “has served a dual purpose: it has been both the touchstone for the community of scholars of literature within this one university and a global forum for wide-ranging scholarly discussion and debate among writers and critics in every place and of every persuasion.”

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Ralph Cohen was honored in 2010 for founding and editing New Literary History for 40 years. (Photo courtesy of UVA Today)

The current New Literary History editor, Rita Felski, who now holds the William R. Kenan Jr. Professorship, took the helm from Cohen in 2009. He “transformed the field of literary studies, thanks to New Literary History, whose extraordinary impact resonated around the globe,” she said.

New Literary History, a quarterly published by Johns Hopkins University Press, was the first-ever journal of literary theory, raising challenging questions about the aims and purposes of literary studies, Felski said.

“It was followed by many other journals of a similar kind,” she said. “It has a huge international reputation and put UVA on the map in many ways.”

W.J.T. Mitchell, the editor of one of those other journals, Critical Inquiry, called Cohen “the father of criticism and theory in our time.”

Through translations into English, often for the first time, the journal introduced numerous thinkers from France, Eastern Europe, China and elsewhere to an Anglo-American academic audience. In turn, New Literary History became the first English-language literary journal to be translated into Chinese.

Specializing in 18th-century British literature and philosophy – though his intellectual reach ranged well beyond British literary studies – Cohen developed an original theory of genre that connected literary theory with analysis of historical change across the disciplines. He published six books and more than 100 essays.

In keeping with his scholarly interests, he created the Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change, which operated from 1988 to 1995. This interdisciplinary research center, Cohen wrote, “had as its primary aim the study of change and continuity in individuals and institutions in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.”

During the same time period, Cohen served as the first chair of the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.

A fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1984) and the British Academy (since 1987), Cohen received numerous fellowships and scholarly awards and was visiting professor at universities across the United States and around the world.

For more than 60 years, he was a professor of English and considered himself first and foremost a teacher. Before coming to the University of Virginia, he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles for 17 years.

After retiring from UVA, he joined James Madison University’s School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication and helped establish the Cohen Center for the Study of Technological Humanism in 2013.

Cohen graduated from the City College of New York in 1937, received his master’s degree from Columbia’s Teachers College in 1946, taught at CCNY from 1947 to 1950 and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps from 1942 to 1946. Before the war, he met and married Libby Okun, his wife of more than 70 years. She died in 2013.

Cohen is survived by his daughter, Ruth; and son-in-law, David B. Morris; and son David and daughter-in-law, Mary Cohen, all of Charlottesville.

A memorial event will be held on UVA’s Grounds later this year.

Reprinted with permission from UVA Today

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