Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies
Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies

p a r t i c i p a n t s

Opening Lecturer

Nicholson Baker is a novelist and non-fiction writer. He received a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001 for his nonfiction book Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper  and published a collection of his essays, The Size of Thoughts, in 1997 (Random House). Baker has been a fervent critic of what he perceives as libraries' unnecessary destruction of paper-based media. He wrote several vehement articles in The New Yorker about the destruction of old books and newspapers at the San Francisco Public Library. In 1997, Baker received the San Francisco-based James Madison Freedom of Information Award in recognition of these efforts. In 1999, Baker established a non-profit corporation, the American Newspaper Repository to rescue old newspapers from destruction by libraries.


Nicolas Barker is editor of The Book Collector, the world’s only quarterly journal of book collecting. He has written many books, among them Stanley Morison (1972), Bibliotheca Lindesiana (1977), and Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script and Type in the 15th Century (2nd edn 1992). He is the editor of recent editions of John Carter's classic ABC for Book Collectors.

Kathleen Rooney is a poet, writer, a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, and a frequent collaborator with the poet Elisa Gabbert, with whom she co-wrote the collection That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness. She lives in Chicago, where she works as a professor of English and Creative Writing at DePaul University. Her latest solo poetry collection, Robinson Alone, is forthcoming in October 2012 from Gold Wake Press. She also wrote a book about Oprah's Book Club, titled Reading with Oprah: the Book Club That Changed America (University of Arkansas Press 2005). Rooney was named one of the Best New Voices of 2006 by Random House, which included her essay "Live Nude Girl" in their influential anthology Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers. A book-length version called Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object was published by University of Arkansas Press in 2009.

Michael Witmore is the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and a pioneer in the digital analysis of Shakespeare's texts. He was previously a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, and before that an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University. Wine Dark Sea is a blog he maintains; it covers statistical linguistic analysis of early modern texts. A scholar of English Renaissance Studies, Witmore is the author of several books about Renaissance drama, culture and intellectual life.

Moderator Elizabeth McCracken is the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas at Austin. Her published books include Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry (1993), a collection of stories; two novels, The Giant's House, a 1996 National Book Award finalist, and Niagara Falls All Over Again (2001); and most recently, the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination (2008). McCracken graduated from and taught at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Granta named her one of the twenty Best Young American Novelists.


Bob Stein is founder and Co-Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book and founder of The Voyager Company. For thirteen years he led the development of over 300 titles in 'The Criterion Collection', a series of definitive films on videodisc. Prior to Voyager, Stein worked with Alan Kay in the Research Group at Atari on a variety of electronic publishing projects. Eleven years ago, Stein started 'Night Kitchen' to develop authoring tools for the next generation of electronic publishing. That work is now being continued at the Institute for the Future of the Book. The Institute for the Future of the Book investigates the evolution of intellectual discourse as it shifts from printed pages to networked screens. There are independent branches of the Institute in New York, London, and Brisbane.

Daniel Raff has taught in the Management Department at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania since 1994. Prior to that, he taught at Harvard and Oxford. He has researched and written extensively on the history of the  book business.

Paul La Farge is an American novelist, essayist and academic, and author of The Artist of the Missing (1999), Haussmann, or the Distinction (2001) and The Facts of Winter (2005) His most recent book is a hyperromance called Luminous Airplanes (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor of English at Wesleyan (2009-2010). La Farge is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has been chosen as artist-in-residence at MacDowell and Yaddo artists' colonies. He has taught writing at Columbia and was the 2005 winner of the fourth annual Bard Fiction Prize bestowed by Bard College, where he is on the MFA faculty.

Moderator Molly Schwartzburg is the curator of the University of Virgina's Small Special Collections Library. From 2006 to 2012, she worked at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin as Cline Curator of Literature. Schwartzburg earned her PhD in English from Stanford University and she works in all historical periods of literary study, with particular research interests in modern and contemporary poetry and fiction, avant-garde movements, artists’ books, history of the book, interdisciplinarity, libraries and archives, and museum studies.


William M. Chace was president of Wesleyan University and, thereafter, of Emory University. He now teaches at Stanford in the English department. He is the author of 100 Semesters: My Adventures as Student, Professor, and University President, and What I Learned Along the Way (Princeton 2006).

Elaine Treharne is Professor of English at Stanford University. Her work focuses on the architectonics of the medieval book, particularly the cultural contexts, contents, and languages of Early English manuscripts from c. 700 to 1500.  She is interested in the materiality of the manuscript book, its tactile nature, and the multiple layers that make up the codex. She is currently at work on The Sensual Book, a volume focused on the interactions between early manuscripts and their users, and the theoretical implications of touch and the "voluminous."  She is the editor of The Old English Life of St Nicholas (1997), and Old and Middle English: An Anthology.  The latter was recently published in its third edition and has been adopted in universities internationally. Oxford University Press is soon publishing her book Living Through Conquest: The Politics of Early English, 1020-1220—which concentrates on language and identity in the early medieval period.  

Eric Rasmussen is Professor of English at the University of Nevada. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and has edited volumes in both the Arden Shakespeare and Oxford World's Classics series. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project, one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. Since 1999 he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.

Moderator Douglas Bruster is a Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. His research centers on Shakespeare, with emphasis as well on modern playwrights like David Mamet and David Hare. His books on Shakespeare and early modern drama include Drama and the Market in the Age of Shakespeare (Cambridge 1992), Quoting Shakespeare (University of Nebraska 2000), Shakespeare and the Question of Culture (Macmillian 2003), Prologues to Shakespeare’s Theatre (Routeledge 2004), To Be or Not To Be (Continuum 2007), and Shakespeare and the Power of Performance (Cambridge 2008). In addition to the University of Texas, he has taught at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Paris.

Pforzheimer Lecturer

Michael F. Suarez, S.J. is Director of Rare Book School, Professor of English, University Professor, and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. A Jesuit priest, he holds four masters degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from Oxford. Suarez is a poet and has won several awards for his poetry, including Oxford's Sir Roger Newdigate Prize, as well as for bibliography and literary criticism. Among his many scholarly works is an edition of Robert Dodsley's Collection of Poems by Several Hands (1748-58), a best-selling poetry anthology in 18th-century Britain. He has co-edited The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume 5, 1695-1830 (Cambridge 2009), and The Oxford Companion to the Book (Oxford 20120). He is general co-editor of The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oxford University Press).


Baba Brinkman is a Canadian rap artist, playwright, and interpreter of Medieval and Renaissance literature.  Since 2003, Baba has made a name for himself as a rap troubadour, with hip-hop theatre shows such as The Rap Canterbury TalesThe Rap Guide to Evolution, and The Rebel Cell.  His innovative shows have enjoyed extended off-Broadway runs.

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