Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print brings together established and emerging scholars of early modern print culture to explore the dynamic relationships between words and illustrations in a wide variety of popular cheap print from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. While ephemera was ubiquitous in the period, it is scarcely visible to us now, because only a handful of the thousands of examples once in existence have been preserved. Nonetheless, single-sheet printed works,...
Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print brings together established and emerging scholars of early modern print culture to explore the dynamic relationships between words and illustrations in a wide variety of popular cheap print from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. While ephemera was ubiquitous in the period, it is scarcely visible to us now, because only a handful of the thousands of examples once in existence have been preserved. Nonetheless, single-sheet printed works, as well as pamphlets and chapbooks, constituted a central part of visual and literary culture, and were eagerly consumed by rich and poor alike in Great Britain, North America, and on the Continent. Displayed in homes, posted in taverns and other public spaces, or visible in shop windows on city streets, ephemeral works used sensational means to address themes of great topicality. The English broadside ballad, of central concern in this volume, grew out of oral culture; the genre addressed issues of nationality, history, gender and sexuality, economics, and more.
Richly illustrated and well researched, Studies in Ephemera offers interdisciplinary perspectives into how ephemeral works reached their audiences through visual and textual means. It also includes essays that describe how collections of ephemera are categorized in digital and conventional archives, and how our understanding of these works is shaped by their organization into collections. This timely and fascinating book will appeal to archivists, and students and scholars in many fields, including art history, comparative literature, social and economic history, and English literature.
Contributors: Georgia Barnhill, Theodore Barrow, Tara Burk, Adam Fox, Alexandra Franklin, Patricia Fumerton, Paula McDowell, Kevin D. Murphy, Sally O’Driscoll, Ruth Perry
Kevin D. Murphy is professor and executive officer in the Ph.D. Program in Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine: Commerce, Culture, and Community on the Eastern Frontier (2010), as well as articles on nineteenth- and twentieth century subjects in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Winterthur Portfolio, and the Journal of Urban History.
Sally O’Driscoll is teaches English at Fairfield University. Her work on eighteenth-century literature and culture has appeared in such journals as Signs, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, and Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation.
1Introduction. "Fugitive Pieces" and "Gaudy Books:" Textual, Historical, and Visual Interpretations of Ephemera in the Long Eighteenth Century
Kevin D. Murphy and Sally O’Driscoll
Part I: Definitions and Categorizations
2Of Grubs and Other Insects: Constructing the Categories of “Ephemera” and “Literature” in Eighteenth-Century British Writing
3Digitizing Ephemera and Its Discontents: EBBA’s Quest to Capture the Protean Broadside Ballad
4What Gets Printed from Oral Tradition: Anna Gordon's Ephemeral Ballads
5Approaches to Ephemera: Scottish Broadsides, 1679-1746
6Ephemera at the American Antiquarian Society: Perspectives on Commercial Life in the Long Eighteenth Century
Part II: Text and Image
7Making Sense of Broadside Ballad Illustrations in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
8“A Battleground Around the Crime:” The Visuality of Execution Ephemera and Its Cultural Significances in Late Seventeenth-Century England
9From “The Easter Wedding” to “The Frantick Lover:” The Repeated Woodcut and Its Shifting Roles
10What Kind of Man Do the Clothes Make? Print Culture and the Meanings of Macaroni Effeminacy
About the Contributors