Professor Sandro Jung

EURIAS/IASH Research Fellowship
Sandro Jung

Oct 2015 - Jul 2016

Biography

Professor Sandro Jung is Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Text and Print Culture at Ghent University, the President of the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the project director of “A Revisionist, genre-theoretical and historical study of the British ode in the long eighteenth century, 1680-1830” and “A Quantitative and Qualitative Examination of English and Scottish Chapbooks in the Long Eighteenth Century: Redaction, Material Text, and the Reading of Ephemeral Print Capital.” He has held visiting positions at Harvard and Princeton, and has been the recipient of fellowships, including fellowships at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbuettel and the Grolier Club, as well as at the University of Strasbourg Institute of Advanced Studies. Earlier this year he was a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Gothenburg. The author of David Mallet, Anglo-Scot: Politics, Poetry, and Patronage in the Age of Union (University of Delaware Press, 2008), The Fragmentary Poetic: Eighteenth-Century Uses of an Experimental Mode (Lehigh University Press, 2009), and James Thomson’s ‘The Seasons’, Print Culture, and Visual Interpretation (Lehigh University Press, 2015), he has also edited the 2013 Essays & Studies volume on “British Literature and Print Culture,” a special issue (on the subject of literary ephemera) of Eighteenth-Century Life (2016), another of the Journal of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society (2015), on the subject of chapbooks, and co-edited (with Stephen Colclough) the 2015 number of the Yearbook of English Studies, on the subject of book history and literature.

Project

A Print-Cultural History of Eighteenth-Century Scottish Literature

The 10-month EURIAS fellowship at the University of Edinburgh IASH will facilitate research for the first ever comprehensive history of eighteenth-century Scottish book illustration and the ways in which Scottish book illustrations served as important interpretive paratexts illuminating the ideological meanings of the literature they visualised. These illustrations often served as concrete renderings of ideologically motivated, patriotic readings of literary texts and their being recruited for a cultural vision of Scottish cultural literacy and identity. (i) The aim of the fellowship project is to compile the largest descriptive and analytical bibliography of Scottish literary book illustrations produced in the eighteenth century (and, in the case of Robert Burns, James Thomson, and other authors whose works were illustrated extensively, beyond 1800) to date. (ii) Focusing on the reconstruction of a Scottish marketplace for illustrated books, I shall investigate those branches of the book trade that made possible, especially from the 1780s, the production of ambitiously conceived illustrated editions. My narrative will be underpinned by detailed examinations of relevant agents of print producing book illustrations, especially the artists and engravers, who have to date been neglected by standard works on Scottish book history. (iii). I shall examine illustrations as products of designers’/artists’ imaginative-political interpretation of specific texts and how these texts were appropriated to changing patterns of consumption and reading practices. Rather than exclusively focus on the mediating capacity of illustrations to communicate complex interpretive messages, I shall also investigate in which ways publishers commissioning illustrations in their editions of literary texts conceived of the function of illustrations in marketing, aesthetic, and patriotic terms. I shall relate illustrative work in the form of the copper-engraved book illustration to the paintings that artists working as illustrators frequently produced and examine how a Scottish visual and material culture developed in the eighteenth century which contributed to the formation of a Scottish canon of belles lettres. In addition to three substantial, high-impact articles and the standard bibliography of Scottish book illustration in the period investigated, the research for this project will form the basis of a monograph on eighteenth-century Scottish book illustration and the history of the Scottish illustrated book, which  has been commissioned for publication in the Lehigh University Press series on ‘Studies in Text and Print Culture’.