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Workshop in the History of Material Texts

Jack Lynch (Rutgers University-Newark), "Real Fakes and Fake Fakes: Materiality in Literary Forgery"

Cylindrical piece of mulberry tree, piece of wood supposedly taken from Shakespeare's mulberry tree
Wood supposedly taken from Shakespeare's mulberry tree. Inscribed: "Copy / Shakespeare's Mulberry Tree / From a piece given to me by the Rev. Thomas Rackett, one of the Executors of David Garrick..." Furness Theatrical Artifact Collection

Monday, September 13, 2021, 5:15pm, in person and via Zoom*

*For Zoom information, please please contact Aylin Malcolm.

Our speaker writes:

Those who study literary forgery deal above all with immaterial texts. The careers of a number of prominent forgers, though, have depended on their handling of the physical embodiments of these texts. Three eighteenth-century literary forgeries — the cases of James Macpherson, Thomas Chatterton, and William Henry Ireland — reveal different approaches to material texts through the stages of conception, production, evaluation, and even subsequent collection.

About our speaker:

Jack Lynch received his PhD from Penn in 1998, and since then has been at Rutgers University-Newark, where he is now professor of English. He is the author of The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson, Deception and Detection in Eighteenth-Century Britain, and trade books including You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf from Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia.

Talks will be held live, in person, in the Class of 78 Pavilion, 6th floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. They will also be available via Zoom (please contact us for details). All are welcome. If you would like to receive details on future talks, please sign up for our listserv using this link or visit the Workshop website.

The Workshop in the History of Material Texts is supported by the School of Arts and Sciences through the Department of English and hosted by the Penn Libraries. The co-directors of the seminar are Professor Zachary Lesser (English), Jerry Singerman (Penn Press, Emeritus), and John Pollack (Kislak Center, Penn Libraries).

Associated with the workshop is the book series in Material Texts published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, which includes many monographs that have emerged from presentations given at the workshop over the years.

For more information, please contact Aylin Malcolm.