Abstract

Abstract:

Theories of the public sphere and of imagined political communities of shared reading have had lasting effects on the theoretical conceptualization of Americanist book history, but they also largely overlook the materiality of texts in ways that early and nineteenth-century American readers and writers did not. This essay reads early and nineteenth-century American texts about paper that show how affiliation and political community could inhere within material texts. Further, it argues that an orientation toward textual materiality can help us reveal publics that are more inclusive of women, nonwhites, and nonelites.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1499
Print ISSN
1098-7371
Pages
pp. 66-85
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-09
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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