The Bibliographical Society of Canada is pleased to announce that Simran Thadani has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Emerging Scholar Prize for her project, The Case of the Unsigned Letters: Investigating a Unique Anonymous Writing-Book, London?, 1590?/1656. Dr. Thadani will present her paper at the BSC’s annual meeting, which will take place at SHARP 2015 in Longueuil/Montreal. A revised, article-length version of the paper will be published in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, subject to peer review. The prize also includes a grant of $500.
Dr. Thadani’s project considers the ways in which Directions for Writing — a stab-stitched pamphlet writing-book which survives in just one complete copy at Columbia University — looks different and works differently from other writing-books, interrogating it for clues to its origins and placing it within the broader contexts of its genre and of early modern anonymity. Dr Thadani concludes that “Directions for Writing; and other anonymous writing-books can play an important role for scholarship on the genre, by complicating our normal assumptions about authorship; authorial self-promotion, and the notion of the author-function underlying the text’s production.
Dr. Thadani received her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. As an independent scholar she is presently engaged in producing a bibliography of the Arion Press in San Francisco; in compiling a new edition of ABC for Book Collectors with Nicolas Barker; and in mounting a retrospective exhibition of the works of the Grabhorn Press at the Grolier Club in New York. She also serves on the board of Letterform Archive, a newly-established non-profit organization whose collections relate to typography, calligraphy, lettering, and graphic design. In a letter of support, her PhD supervisor Peter Stallybrass praised her as someone who has been at the centre of research on early manuscripts and printed books, and who has the ability to draw together in new ways academic scholars, special collections librarians, collectors, and booksellers.
The Emerging Scholar Prize was established by the BSC in 2012 to support a scholar at the beginning of her or his career who is undertaking research in bibliography, book history, or print culture broadly defined, including the study of the creation, production, publication, distribution, and uses of manuscripts, printed books, or electronic texts.