Networked New York: Annotated Program, Part 1

As we get ready for Networked New York on March 9, Annie and I will be posting additional information about conference sessions and presenters. Our first panel that Friday morning considers emerging commercial spaces, professional associations, and institutional alliances in nineteenth-century New York City.

Here are the details:

10:00 – 11:15, Panel 1: Institution and Enterprise (19 University Place, Great Room)

1. Joey McGarvey, “‘The Good, the Great, and the Gifted’: An Introduction to the New York Fruit Festival”

McGarvey acquaints us with a spectacular event in New York City’s publishing history – the 1855 Fruit Festival at New York’s Crystal Palace. Sponsored by the city’s new Book Publishers’ Association, the Fruit Festival brought together for a feast of pears and apples some of the country’s most notable booksellers, publishers, and writers. Examining RSVPs to the event, contained in the papers of the Association’s secretary, McGarvey traces several generative themes: the uncertain place of successful female authors in mid-century professional print culture, the American investment in producing a national literature, the competition among New York, Philadelphia, and Boston to be considered the publishing capital of the U.S., and the struggle of publishers and authors to reconcile the demands of art and of commerce.

McGarvey is an M.A. student in the English Department at NYU, where she is completing her thesis on gender and genre in the Fruit Festival. In her time away from grad school, McGarvey is an editorial assistant at Knopf. She is also a founding member of the [tk] review.

2. Reed Gochberg, “Miniatures and Museums: Philanthropy, Cultural Institutions, and Edith Wharton’s Tableau Vivant”

Gochberg proposes a re-reading of the well-known tableau vivant scene in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth (1905), where Lily Bart recreates a painting by Joshua Reynolds. Although literary scholars have suggested that this moment represents the conspicuous consumption of the Gilded Age, Gochberg explores it in relation to the operation of the city’s art galleries and museums, arguing that Wharton’s scene inverts both their aesthetic and philanthropic concerns. As she demonstrates Wharton’s pessimism about the ability of these establishments to restore beauty and bring “high culture” to a city motivated by status and money, Gochberg offers new ways of thinking about contact and conflict among New York’s nouveau riche, its longstanding elite, and the city’s cultural institutions in the late nineteenth century.

Gochberg is a doctoral student in English at Boston University, where she studies late nineteenth-century American literature and culture. Her research interests include American intellectual history and urban cultural history.

3. Kristen Doyle Highland, “Finding New York City in the Bookstore”

Moving between the rise of the dedicated bookstore in nineteenth-century New York City to contemporary battles to save the independent bookstore, Highland’s presentation explores how the physical space of the bookstore has come to frame ideals of urban life and community.

Highland is a doctoral student in the English Department at NYU, specializing in Early American and antebellum literature. Her research interests include the print culture of early national America, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century popular culture, and the Atlantic world. She is currently working on a dissertation, titled, “At the Bookstore: Literary and Cultural Experience in Antebellum New York City.”

For the full program of Networked New York, visit the conference website.

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