Thursday, February 7, 2013

Finkelstein and McCleery

Dr. Dave, as David Finkelstein describes himself in his Twitter bio, is the Dean of Humanities at the University of Dundee, UK, as of 2012. Before that he worked a lecturer and a professor at other UK universities and as an archivist for a year at the National Library of Scotland right after graduate school. (Here’s his LinkedIn page.) He received his PhD in English and History from the University of Edinburgh (1990) and did his undergraduate work at Columbia University (1986).

His work focuses primarily on print culture, media history, and journalism with a particular interest in the Scottish print and publishing industries (see his work as co-director of the SAPPHIRE initiative along with Professor McCleery). Among his various professional roles as a fellow or board member, he is also co-editor of the Sage book series Journalism Studies.

Finkelstein is the author of a number of publications and is perhaps best known for his work on Blackwood, the Scottish publishing firm of William Blackwood & Sons, founded in 1804, that was one of the major powerhouses of British literary history (see The House of Blackwood: Author-Publisher Relations in the Victorian Era (2002), The Index to Blackwood's Magazine, 1901-1980 (1995), and Nineteenth Century Media and the Construction of Identities (2001) on which he is a co-author). Here’s a YouTube video of a lecture he gave just the other day about typographers! Notably for our purposes, Finkelstein’s work tends to draw explicitly from Darnton’s author/publisher/reader circuit.

Allisair McCleery, is a Professor of Literature and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University, UK (one of the universities where Finkelstein used to work). At Napier, McCleery serves as Director of the Scottish Centre for the Book. He possesses, by his own admission, an “Eeyore-like” appearance, and although he is originally from Ulster, he has lived in Scotland for a long time.

His work focuses on reading culture, promoting reading development, and publishing business models that ensure the availability and affordability of books.

He is also pretty prolific, having apparently published “some 70 refereed articles and book chapters.” Some of these include: The Return of the Publisher to Book History: The Case of Allen Lane (2002), The Porpoise Press, 1922-1939 (1988), Personality of place in the urban regional novel (1981), and The early novels of Neil M Gunn (1981). His SAPPHIRE bio also notes that among his publications is The Book (2001), the “first CD on book history.” There’s a bit more about it here (it’s designed for ages 8 and up…), and apparently we have a copy in Memorial Library if anyone wants to check it out. 

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