2010-11 PHF RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Fellow in the Humanities
2010—2011 Forum on Virtuality
Properties of Reading: Copyright and the English Novel, 1739–1774
While copyright since Foucault's "What is an Author" has been associated with the emergence of modern authorship, I show how eighteenth-century debates over literary property in Britain also transformed ideas about readers and reading, particularly in prose fiction. Analyzing works by Fielding, Richardson and Sterne, I argue for a view of copyright not as authorial property, but as a covenant between writer, printer and reader centered around a social abstraction—the work.