Seth Lerer on the history of the book

About Guest:

Seth Lerer holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, and he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981. He joined the Stanford faculty as Professor of English in 1990, received a joint appointment in Comparative Literature in 1996, and served as Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature from 1997-2000. He is currently the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities. His research interests include medieval and Renaissance studies, comparative philology, the history of scholarship, and children's literature. In 1993, he received the Hoagland Prize for Undergraduate Teaching at Stanford, and in 2003 he received a Dean's Award for Graduate Teaching. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 1996, he was the Hurst Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and in 2002 he was the Helen Cam Visiting Scholar in Medieval Studies at Cambridge University. He has published nearly one hundred articles and reviews and is the author of five books: Boethius and Dialogue (Princeton, 1985); Literacy and Power in Anglo-Saxon Literature (Nebraska, 1991); Chaucer and His Readers (Princeton, 1993; awarded the Beatrice White Prize of the English Association of Great Britain); Courtly Letters in the Age of Henry VIII (Cambridge, 1997); and Error and the Academic Self: The Scholarly Imagination, Medieval to Modern (Columbia, 2002) — this last book awarded the 2005 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. In addition to these books, he has edited four collections of essays: Literary History and the Challenge of Philology (Stanford, 1996), Reading from the Margins (The Huntington Library, 1996), The Yale Companion to Chaucer (Yale, 2006), and (with Leah Price) a special issue of PMLA on “The History of the Book and the Idea of Literature” (January 2006). His current book projects include a History of Children's Literature for the University of Chicago Press and a History of the English Language for Columbia University Press.

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