Welcome to BHPC

Histoire du livre, History of the Book, Textual Studies, Print Culture, Sociology of the Text: all these names have been used to describe an international academic movement that rose to prominence in the late twentieth century and continues to expand today. Book History creates and applies knowledge of the material, …

Toronto Centre for the Book

The Toronto Centre for the Book was established at the University of Toronto in 1994 by Michael and Jane Millgate (Department of English), Patricia Fleming (Faculty of Information), and others in order to bring together faculty, librarians, students, and members of the general public who are interested in the past, …

Massey College

Massey College was built and furnished by the Massey Foundation in 1963 to house graduate students pursuing advanced studies or professional degrees at the University of Toronto. It provides a congenial intellectual environment for the exchange of opinions and ideas. Members of the College form a multidisciplinary and diverse community …

Student Projects

A requirement for the doctoral program in Book History and Print Culture, the Practicum is an individual project involving the use of primary sources, approved for academic credit by the Program Committee, undertaken under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty, and intended to serve as a bridge …

Recent Articles:

BHPC alumna Claire Battershill wins inaugural Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for literary fiction

July 16, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumna Claire Battershill wins inaugural Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for literary fiction

“Here’s what judge Miriam Toews had to say about Circus: ‘Claire Battershill has a great style. She writes in a plain-spoken way, with precision and such economy, while at the very same time expertly weaving layers and more layers of depth and detail and comedy and pathos. The characters are tormented and big-hearted and odd and so finely drawn, and the sentences sing out with intelligence and confidence. We’re so lucky to have this fresh, robust and utterly compelling voice in our midst.'” You can find out more here.

BHPC alumna Ruth-Ellen St. Onge joins Rare Book School (University of Virginia) staff as Assistant Curator of Collections

July 1, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumna Ruth-Ellen St. Onge joins Rare Book School (University of Virginia) staff as Assistant Curator of Collections

“We are very pleased to announce that Ruth-Ellen St. Onge has joined the Rare Book School staff as Assistant Curator of Collections and Special Assistant to the Associate Director. Ruth-Ellen holds a Master of Information Studies and a Ph.D. in French Studies and Book History and Print Culture from the University of Toronto. She is an active council member of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture, and is the author of several published articles and reviews. For ten years, while pursuing her undergraduate and graduate studies, Ruth-Ellen worked as a research assistant in the Joseph Sablé Centre for 19th Century French Studies, a rare book library and research collection now housed within the Special Collections of the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto.” You can read more here.

BHPC alumnus Tim Harrison wins Governor General’s Gold Medal for 2015

June 22, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumnus Tim Harrison wins Governor General’s Gold Medal for 2015

“The Office of the Governor General awards gold medals annually to honour academic excellence at the graduate level. The gold medal is one of the most prestigious awards a Canadian graduate student can receive. Dr. Harrison defended his dissertation ‘Forms of Sentience in Early Modernity’ in June 2014 under the supervision of Professor Elizabeth Harvey in the Department of English. His ground-breaking interdisciplinary research brings together book history, literary analysis, and the intellectual history of early modern science to examine how early modern writers used language to explore and express what it means to be alive. Dr. Harrison accepted a coveted tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Department of English at the University of Chicago, where he moved five days after defending his dissertation.” You can read more here.

BHPC student Catherine Schwartz awarded Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities 2015-2016

June 12, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC student Catherine Schwartz awarded Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities 2015-2016

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of four doctoral candidates who will be completing their dissertations on topics relevant to the JHI Annual Theme of Things that Matter at the Jackman Humanities Institute in 2015-2016 … Catherine’s dissertation explores the hidden influence of almanacs, barometers, smoke and sounds in the works of Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Gustave Flaubert, and Jules Verne, to examine the ways that rare, obsolete, or intrinsically evanescent objects create and represent the atmosphere in ways that still inform how we imagine our environment.” You can read the full JHI announcement here.

Professor Heather MacNeil receives Talman Award from Archives Association of Ontario

June 10, 2015 News Comments Off on Professor Heather MacNeil receives Talman Award from Archives Association of Ontario

“The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) has chosen iSchool Professor Heather MacNeil as the 2015 recipient of its James J. Talman Award. According to the AAO awards committee, the honour is given to ‘an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in contribution to the profession, his/her institution, or the archival community, or pioneered in any aspect of archival work.’” You can read more here.

Professor Peter Blayney becomes Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers

May 12, 2015 News Comments Off on Professor Peter Blayney becomes Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers

“There were only two people to make free of the Company this morning; Peter Blayney who wrote the two volume work The Stationers’ Company and the Printers of London, 1501-1557 and who had travelled all the way from Canada with his wife Leslie Thomson for the Freedom Ceremony … Peter Blayney will be matching his research trips to the UK with events at the Hall and has managed to make this one cover his Freedom Ceremony and the Archive Evening next week.” You can read more here.

New book about publication and reputation by former BHPC director Heather Jackson

April 19, 2015 News Comments Off on New book about publication and reputation by former BHPC director Heather Jackson

Those Who Write for Immortality is part of a larger genre of literary criticism. It’s sometimes called book history, or (if we’re being formal) the history of the book. Sometimes, book history focusses on the physical aspects of reading. Often, though, the history of the book is actually the history of the people who work with books—publishers, editors, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, and so on. Literary fame, Jackson writes, is not a disembodied process; it’s created by people who, sometimes without knowing it, coöperate across time in a vast reputational enterprise.” You can read more here (New Yorker) and here (Times Higher Education).

Guggenheim Fellowships deliver a hat-trick for the Humanities

April 18, 2015 News Comments Off on Guggenheim Fellowships deliver a hat-trick for the Humanities

“From turning points in pre-Nazi Germany and the rise of eugenics in Bolshevik Russia, to traces of libel and sedition in 18th-century British literature, three promising humanities projects at the University of Toronto are getting a boost from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. James Retallack of the Department of History, Nikolai Krementsov of the Institute for the History & Philosophy of Science & Technology, and Thomas Keymer of the Department of English were among 175 scholars, artists and scientists from across the United States and Canada recently named fellows of the foundation, chosen from over 3,100 applicants.” You can read more here.

Former BHPC director Will Robins appointed thirteenth president of Victoria College

April 13, 2015 News Comments Off on Former BHPC director Will Robins appointed thirteenth president of Victoria College

“At a time when universities are attempting to respond to the demand for ‘job-ready’ graduates with statistics proving their alumni’s skills, one university has gladly chosen a humanities teacher and learner as its new president. William Robins, a Chaucer expert whose research has focused on the development of medieval literature from popular story-telling to high art, will become the president of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.” You can read more here.

BHPC alumnus Joe Culpepper writes in The Walrus about magic posters at the McCord Museum, Montreal

March 18, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumnus Joe Culpepper writes in The Walrus about magic posters at the McCord Museum, Montreal

“I am staring into the eyes of Harry Houdini. Here he stands, taller than me, with arms casually folded. I move closer to determine the colour of his irises. Our faces are just centimetres apart. Then it happens: he blinks.” You can read more here.

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