Ellen Gruber Garvey.
I'm a cultural historian who specializes in print culture
from the nineteenth century to the present. My research uses archival
exploration and literary evidence to study historical reading and publishing practices
and material culture. I'm interested in how people have managed information. I am a
graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's doctoral program in English.
My most recent book,
with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance
(Oxford UP, 2013), has received four awards: the
Transdisciplinary Book Award, for a nonfiction work
that exemplifies transdisciplinary, socially engaged humanities-based scholarship,
from the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University;
the Waldo Gifford Leland Award for writing of
superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or
practice, from the Society of American Archivists; Highly Commended Award, DeLong
Book History Book Prize from the Society for Authorship, Reading, and
mention from the EBSCOhost/Research Society for American Periodicals
(RSAP) Book Prize. My previous book,
Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture (Oxford
won SHARP's Book History
Writing with Scissors tells about how m en and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks â€“ the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Mark Twain to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farmwomen, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their reading. Their work reveals their personal, passionate, of ten critical and always dynamic relationship to media. You can read my short piece on The Root blog, on African American scrapbooks, and you can find more about the book on the Scrapbook History blog.
I am currently writing a book on late-nineteenth century Americans' anxiety about the newspaper as a form of virtual reality. Like today's social media, it had potential to alienate readers from face-to-face community, even as it connected the nation. The book examines both cultural discourse about newspapers and their circulation and distribution. A chapter from this book is forthcoming in the collection Shadow Economies, edited by Wendy Woloson and Brian Luskey, from U Pennsylvania Press. Other articles have appeared in American Quarterly, Legacy, Studies in American Fiction, Book History, Cahiers Charles V: Histoire(s) de Livres, and Studies in American Humor, among other journals.
My writing on media includes
an article on abolitionists' use of runaway slave ads as a database, â€ś '
and FACTS': Abolitionists' Database Innovations,â€ť in
Raw Dataâ€ť Is an Oxymoron, edited by Lisa Gitelman; an article on
the complications of promoting books, in â€śAmbivalent Advertising: Books,
Prestige, and the Circulation of Publicity,â€ť in
A History of the Book in America, vol. 4, edited by Janice Radway
and Carl Kaestle; and a multimedia article introducing students to
of the Mainstream and into the Streets: Small Press Magazines, the Underground
Press, Zines, and Artistsâ€™ Booksâ€ť in
in American Book History, edited by Scott Caspar, Joanne Chaison, Jeffrey
I have lectured in the
US and in Europe on such topics as scrapbooks, womenâ€™s bicycling, magazines, billboards, women editors, and stories about slave ships.
With Jacqueline Ellis of Women's and Gender Studies, I edit the journal Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy.
I am past President of the New York Metro American Studies Association and the Research Society for American Periodicals, whose website I initiated. Fellowships I've held include two from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society. I also taught in the Netherlands for a semester as the Fulbright Walt Whitman Distinguished Lecturing Chair in American Literature.
For the spring 2015 semester I will be teaching in Paris, at UniversitĂ© Paris 8/St. Denis.