NEH Funds 2013 Summer Seminar in the History of the Book

Clare Carroll, a professor on the doctoral faculty in comparative literature and liberal studies and coordinator of the Renaissance Studies certificate program at the Graduate Center, has won a highly prized National Endowment for the Humanities grant of $160,000 to support a summer seminar on “Researching Early Modern Manuscripts and Printed Books,” which will be hosted at the Graduate Center.

The history of the book is one of the most dynamic and innovative fields of scholarship in the humanities today. Research in this area in recent years has furnished unique insights into the cultural, material, intellectual, and economic dimensions of manuscripts and books during the Renaissance.

The four-week intensive seminar, from June 15 through July 11, is designed to introduce scholars to current scholarship across a range of topics—codicology, palaeography, analytical bibliography, textual editing, and the study of early modern book catalogues—to provide them with the practical skills that are essential to the appreciation of books and manuscripts as material objects in their own right. The seminar is a direct outgrowth of a course on research techniques that Carroll has been teaching at the Graduate Center since 1997 and of relationships that she has developed with curators in New York. She says, “I want to feature the collaborative work between scholars and librarians, the people we all need to rely on to find out about what’s new about the past.”

Project directors Carroll and Marc Caball expect to assemble a group of sixteen scholars with a diversity of experience and perspectives. The seminar will appeal particularly to faculty working in history, language, and literature programs who wish to acquire new skills and knowledge that will enable them to research and teach more effectively and creatively in the area of book history.

The seminar’s location in New York will enable participants to draw on and benefit from the city’s extraordinarily rich library and archival holdings in Renaissance material. Although based at the Graduate Center, the NEH summer seminar will also take place at the Morgan Library, the New York Public Library, the Hispanic Society of America, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Grolier Club. Participants will have time for their own research as well.

The application deadline is March 4, 2013. While the seminar is mainly designed for junior-level (pre-tenure) academics, scholars of all ages, including independent scholars and advanced graduate students, are encouraged to apply. All must be American citizens or have green cards. For more information and to apply, visit

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