The title of Rachael Scarborough King’s edited collection of essays, After Print, refers at once to Peter Stallybrass’s insight that printing is a provocation of manuscript, as well as to what the study of manuscripts looks like when we move away from stadial and supersessionist print culture paradigms of authorship and publication and instead embrace archival methods and interpretive approaches that center on concepts of media interrelation in early modern manuscript cultures, such as Margaret Ezell’s concept of social authorship.The essays in King’s collection, including an epilogue by Ezell herself, bear the fruits of such intermedial and transmedial approaches, bringing into relief what King terms “the multimedia eighteenth century.” King argues that such methods and theories demonstrate the importance of what Siegfried Zielinksi has called an “archeological” approach that focuses study on moments when, as Zielinksi puts it, “things and situations were still in state of flux, where the options for development in various directions were still wide open, where the future was conceivable as holding multifarious possibilities of technical and cultural solutions for constructing media worlds.”
Original Publication Information
Mattes, M.A. (2022). Toward an Archaeology of Manuscripts. Eighteenth-Century Studies 55(4), 545-552.
Mattes, Mark A., "Toward an Archaeology of Manuscripts" (2022). Faculty Scholarship. 842.