New Directions in Indigenous Book History

Date: 23 March 2023 – 24 March 2023
Time: 8:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m. ET
Location: Zoom
Presented by: The Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography

After the ten-year anniversary of Phillip Round’s Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663–1880 (2010) and at the 20th anniversary of Louise Erdrich’s Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (2003), the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) held a two-day virtual symposium, during which national and international scholars offered analyses, reflections, and provocations on the material book’s historical and continuing relation to Indigenous peoples and communities.

We also took the occasion to mark the flourishing—though still nascent—field of scholarship on the materialities of the Indigenous book and the productive interventions such scholarship has made into the traditionally settler-oriented fields of bibliography, scholarly editing, and book history.

Though critical attention to Indigenous print culture has done well to document and examine a wide range of media and genres used by Indigenous writers across the centuries, here we narrowed the focus to books specifically. How might we define the Indigenous book? Where does Indigenous book history engage with and depart from other histories of the book? How has the book moved within and across Indigenous communities, both local and global? In what sense can the book be claimed as Indigenous? Topics included community-engaged partnerships and collaborations; book arts; materiality and form; making Indigenous books; reclaiming genres; and relations with archives, audiences, and libraries.

This event was co-sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America and Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB). This event was organized by Dr. Amy Gore and Dr. Daniel Radus.

Seven panels of scholars and Indigenous community members, and one keynote panel, were held on Zoom on 23 and 24 March 2023. See below for links to the YouTube recordings, which will be posted over the next several weeks.

Click here for the conference’s full program, presenter biographies, and information about the keynote panel.

You are invited to watch the March 2023 recordings of the event panels below via our RBS YouTube channel.

  1. Librarianship, the Author, and the Archive: YouTube Video
  2. Making Books—Anthologies, Bibliographies, and Critical Editions: YouTube Video
  3. Reviving, Reclaiming, and Redefining Genres: YouTube Video
  4. Book Arts: Visuality, Typography, and Design: YouTubeVideo