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Manuscript and Print Cultures

The Manuscript and Print Cultures (MaPC) Research Group is housed in English and Comparative Literary Studies but invites scholars to join from across the Faculty and beyond who work amidst full historical, conceptual, and global scope of manuscript, print cultures, the history of the book and other ephemera. Recent research of MaPC members focuses on medieval manuscript tradition (Wood and Jiang), early modern travel writings (Din-Kariuki), the printing and publishing of early modern playtexts (Grant), correspondence and translation (Botley); classical learning (Verhaart); pamphlets and revolutionary propaganda (West); bilingual and transatlantic literary culture of the Caribbean (Gilmore); periodicals, illustration, and the Gothic (Baker); small press publishing and poetry (Skinner); literary and cultural production and publication in early twentieth century New York (Kelly).

As well as publishing with leading journals and presses, working on Leverhulme funded projects, our staff have written for outlets such as the Times Literary Supplement, and appeared on BBC radio.

Convened by Dr Tess Grant and Dr Jen Baker 

If you would like to be added to the list of research group members below, please email us with your contact details, any webpages, and a brief blurb of your research interests in this area.


Term One 2023-24

(Week 2) MaPC Meet and Greet
Wednesday 11th October, 5-6pm ONLINE Link opens in a new window

Join us for an informal introduction to MaPC and to meet and greet other scholars interested in this area.

(Week 8) “Pedagogy, Play, Primers and Print”
Tuesday 21st November, 5.15 – 6.45pm in FAB 5.49 (ECLS student hub).

Speakers from across the network will give 8-10min talks on a variety of research relating to the topic of pedagogy, play, primers and print.

Nancy Haijing Jiang on a bilingual Middle English and Latin primer of the Book of Hours.

Clive Letchford From Playful Badger to Printed Book - 16th school exercise books. 

John Gilmore on c18th schoolboy notebooks.

Jen Baker Transgressive Pedagogy in contemporary Gothic pop-up books.

Term 2, 2023-24

All staff and students are welcome to join the Manuscript and Print Cultures Network for our next session on Tuesday 23rd of January 5.15pm in FAB 5.49 (the student hub in English) – this session is a reading and discussion group based on this pieceLink opens in a new window on Scribal Relics and the Authorial Body.

It would be great to hear what everyone makes of the arguments there, and how it intersects with their own work. We hope to see you there – no prior knowledge needed.

Week 8 - Tuesday 27th February, 5.15pm (FAB 5.49)

In collaboration with the Centre for Global Jewish StudiesLink opens in a new window and the Centre for Renaissance Studies, Manuscript and Print Cultures group has invited Sofer Mordechai Pinchas to come and offer a scribal ‘show and tell’, with materials. He will also talk about the history of Jewish scribing, showing us some examples of writing with the opportunity for participants to have a go!

Term 3, 2023-24

WEEK 2 - SHOW AND TELL - Tuesday 30th April, 5.15pm (FAB 5.49)

  • Dr David Coates (SCAPVC) "The Material Traces of Britain’s Amateur Theatrical Past (1780-1914)"

In this show-and-tell session, David will share his private collection which contains an array of materials that document a history of amateur theatre in Britain pre-1914. It includes playbills, acting manuals, newspaper cuttings, prints and manuscript items. Alongside this he’ll discuss a range of findings from archives and collections across Britain and the USA to highlight the historiographical challenges of using some of this material and of researching the amateur theatrical past.

  • Prof Ralph Hanna (Oxford) "The Book History I do"

Ralph Hanna is Professor Emeritus in Palaeography at the University of Oxford. He has published widely on medieval manuscripts and texts and spends his time rooting around in libraries. His recent books include Introducing Medieval Book History: Manuscripts, their Producers and their Readers (Liverpool, 2013) and Looking at Medieval Books: Learning to See (Liverpool, 2023) and he will be discussing his work and materials, as well as approaches and practice.

WEEK 8 - "Textual Transgressions: Mistakes, Forgeries & Censorship"
- Tuesday 11th June, 5.15pm (FAB 5.49)

A series of 10min talks from researchers across the Faculty.

Dr Floris Verhaart (ECLS and Renaissance Centre) - "The forgery that never was: Jean Hardouin (1646-1729) and the alleged forgery of classical literature": Jean Hardouin became notorious for arguing that virtually all of classical literature had been forged in the Middle Ages by a cabal of atheistic Benedictine monks. I will introduce Hardouin's thought and writings and will very briefly point out its relevance for eighteenth-century textual scholarship and for the present day, especially post-communist Russia.

Dr William Rupp (Liberal Arts) – “’A prodigy of one kind or another’: William Henry Ireland, the Shakespeare forgery scandal, and the desire for authenticity”: In 1795/6 the English literary world was rocked by the discovery of a trove of documents, written in Shakespeare’s hand, that answered many burning questions about the Bard’s life, his writing, his thinking, and his morals. The only problem: they had all been forged by William Henry Ireland. In this talk, a short re-examination of one of the great forgery stories allows an examination of not only the motives of one forger but of the desires of the wider public to know with certainty details of the man who had been placed as the English language’s greatest author. It also looks to critical elements relating to how English identity was being (re)created at the end of the eighteenth century.

Dr Jessica Wardaugh (SMLC) - "Fakes and Fantasies in French Print Culture, 1880–1900" - In 1883, Parisian shopowner René Pineau paid typesetters to modify a political manifesto so that it would advertise hats rather than Napoleon. Pineau’s playful text was just one of a multitude of fakes and parodies on the walls of towns and cities across France in the late nineteenth century, following the liberalizing press laws of the 1880s that had transformed print culture and censorship. Exploring these texts within a wider culture of counterfeits, this short talk will offer some new perspectives on the relationship between politics, consumerism, and fantasy in fin-de-siècle France. A censored poster and counterfeit coin will also be brought along!

Dr Anna Lafranchini (SMLC) - “Concealed translations, authorship, and copyright in Fascist Italy”, discusses examples of the 20th c. Italian translation rights trade for Anna's forthcoming book.

Research Group Members

Dr Teresa Grant is Associate Professor in Renaissance Theatre and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance. She teaches on the degree programmes in English and History, English and English and Theatre and on the MA in English and Drama (of which she is the convenor). General Editor (with Eugene Giddens and Barbara Ravelhofer) of the Oxford University Press 15 volume The Complete Works of James Shirley.

Dr Jen BakerLink opens in a new window (ECLS) researches nineteenth-century Anglophone death cultures and the Gothic - particularly relating to the child - and more broadly on the novel form, the short form, gothic illustration and gothic publishing, paratexts and epitexts, and more contemporary considerations of "the book" such as Gothic pop-up and other movable ephemera.

Dr Sarah Wood is Associate Professor in Middle English in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. She has published extensively on the manuscripts and textual tradition of Piers Plowman. Prof.

Professor Ingrid De Smet Link opens in a new window(SMLC) regularly works with manuscripts and rare books in her research on the intellectual culture of early modern France, the Low Countries, and Italy; She has taught postgraduate classes on working with manuscripts and rare books, and early modern print culture; and supervise PhD students working with manuscripts and print. Among my current (co-)supervisees in this area is work on Sergei (Zotov) (alchemical manuscripts) and Karin (Sprang) (alba amicorum).

Prof. Paul Botley
Dr Jane Webb (School for Cross-Faculty Studies) has research interests around the lives of objects in museum and personal collections, of which the paper correspondence of donors has been of major interest. Her recently published book chapter for Memories of Dress: Recollections of Material Identities (Bloomsbury 2023) tried to unearth why three dresses had been kept for 150 years before being donated to one museum using the letters of donors to the museum, and hand-written accounts and letters in other archives.

Dr John West (ECLS)

Prof. Ralph Hanna is Professor Emeritus of Palaeography at the University of Oxford. His books include Introducing Medieval Book History: Manuscripts, their Producers and their Readers (Liverpool, 2013) and Looking at Medieval Books: Learning to See (Liverpool, 2023)

Prof. John Gilmore (ECLS)

Dr David Coates Link opens in a new window(TPS) is a cultural historian working on British theatre, amateur theatre, performance and entertainment histories of the long nineteenth century. He is interested in the material traces of theatre from the period, including playbills, published plays, acting editions, newspapers, illustrated news, theatre guidebooks and scrapbooks.

Dr Anna LanfranchiLink opens in a new window (SMLC) is a teaching fellow in Translation and transcultural studies and Italian. Her research focuses on transnational publishing history, history of copyright and literary agents, book programmes and cultural diplomacy.

Dr Nancy Haijing Jiang (ECLS)

Prof. Brenda HosingtonLink opens in a new window is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Renaissance Studies. Her major area of research is translation history and theory, with a particular focus on the relationship between translation and print in early modern England (Editor in chief of one online catalogue of printed translations (1473-1640) and Co-editor of another (1641-1660) forthcoming). She also publishes on women translators, many of whom produced translations in manuscript, and on Neo-Latin translations and their print history.

Dr Jack Bowman is a current tutor in the History department and recently finished his PhD at Warwick. His research focuses on anti-colonial print networks and political thought in the twentieth-century, with a current focus on Pan-Africanism. He has a recent article upon Indian independence activist V. K. Krishna Menon and his role as an editor in Britain (during which he, among other things, helped found Pelican Books!) now out in The Historical Journal.

Dr Ania Crowther is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Renaissance Studies and completed her PhD at Warwick in 2018 on James Shirley and the Restoration Stage with a particular focus on the relationship between the manuscript and print versions of Shirley’s The Court Secret. Her work is largely on promptbooks and manuscript edits to Seventeenth-century drama and she is currently editing Youth’s Glory and Death’s Banquet for the Complete Works of Margaret Cavendish project.

Dr Jessica Wardhaugh (SMLC) is a Reader in French Studies, and works on the relationship between politics and culture in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France. She has published books on street politics and political theatre, as well as on ideas of community and democracy. Her current book project explores political play in its verbal, visual, and physical forms, and she is particularly interested in the material and print cultures of popular politics, including posters, flyers, graffiti, and political ephemera.

Madeleine BraceyLink opens in a new window is a first-year PhD student at Coventry University working on the long lost Coventry Grammar School Library. She is supervised by Dr Alice Leonard (Coventry) and mentored by Prof. Paul Botley (Warwick).

Dr Alice LeonardLink opens in a new window is a specialist in the culture and history of error in early modern England. She is interested in how perceptions of error manifested and changed during this period, in epistemological contexts such as natural philosophy, travel and navigation. In 2023, she will be a British Library Eccles Fellow to conduct archival research for my second monograph in this area. She is co-editor on the Notebooks volume of The Complete Works of Thomas BrowneLink opens in a new window (OUP) and is also working on a short book entitled Early Modern Bookspace, under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Dr William Rupp is assistant professor in Liberal Arts. After completing his doctoral studies in history at Warwick, William has worked in outreach and as an academic developer. His research is focused mainly on travel and national identity creation in eighteenth-century Britain but he has also worked technology adoption and social control in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

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