K. A. Wisniewski

November Work

I survived my week of three talks on top of my usual schedule of classes, meetings, and other duties…

Currents Dresher Center Fall 2014On Monday, I delivered a short talk at the Dresher Center as part of my fellowship: “The Hopkinson Hoax of ’63” is part of the opening chapter of my dissertation.  Then on Wednesday, I took the train to the Library of Congress where I spoke on colonial printing and typographical history, specifically colonial printers in Philadelphia and Baltimore, including Mary Katharine Goddard.  And, on Friday, I attended Leisure, Pleasure, & Entertainment: the 45th Annual Conference of the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (EC/ASECS) at the University of Delaware.

 

Some descriptions and photos of these events appear below…

 

The Hopkinson Hoax of 1763

As a literary device, the hoax is a slippery term.  A popular maneuver among British writers like Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson, Daniel Defoe and Benjamin Franklin, hoaxes were used to mislead and mystify readers and to disrupt bureaucratic systems.  They inspired a number of young writers growing up in the era leading up to the American Revolution.  Before signing the Declaration of Independence, designing the American flag, and penning dozens of wartime propaganda including the famous “Battle of the Kegs,” Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791) was a poet and composer.  Scholars consider one of his earliest published poems “Science,” the first pirated work in the American colonies.  But what if the highly publicized quarrels following these pirated copies were part of an elaborate marketing scheme for not one but three separate Hopkinson titles?

 

Shots from the Library of Congress

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And at the ASECS…

 

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2014 by in Work Report / Progress.
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