Ph.D. 1990 (English), University of Pennsylvania; B.A. 1982, Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Office Address: 244 Greene Street room 811 New York, NY 10003
Office Hours: Spring 2014: By Appointment
Juliet Fleming is the author of Graffiti and the Writing Arts of Early Modern England (2001). Her work investigates early modern writing practices beyond the conventions of book and manuscript to see where textual inscriptions were made and under what circumstances. Her book in progress, Counterproductions: Cultural Graphology in the Age of Shakespeare uses a deep reading of Derrida to extend her analysis of ignored forms of writing, of parts of books that are not writing, and of uses of books that she challenges us to think of as alternative and overlooked forms of reading, including printers’ errors and Shakespeare’s “blots”; the printers’ flowers that ornamented early modern books; semantic elements that form not words, but parts of words (letters syllables and spaces); and early modern decoupage, or the cutting up of books. Other recent work interrogates the survival of poetic forms from the point of view of evolutionary theory, focusing on the circumstances of survival rather than on the moment of production.
Her research and teaching interests are in Renaissance literature and literary theory: indeed, her current project, tentatively called ‘Bibliography after Derrida: Cultural Graphology c. 1600,’ aims to draw from the work of Jacques Derrida propositions and practices that may be used to advance and re-inflect the ‘history of the book’ as that is currently a focus of English renaissance studies. She believes that there is no way to study Derrida’s writing—or, for that matter, Renaissance literature—other than by reading it closely, and she welcomes students to her classes who have no prior knowledge of either. Next Fall, she will be team-teaching a PhD level seminar with John Guillory called 'Renaissance Mediology,' which will scrutinize the formats, contents, and transmission histories of renaissance writing -- here, as always, she will be asking what writing is, and where it may be said to begin and end.
Relevant recent publications include three essays on ornamental type-face: ‘How to Look at a Printed Flower,’ (2007); ‘How not to look at a printed flower’ (2008) and ‘Changed Opinion as to Flowers (2011); an essay on cutting as a reading method (2010), an essay on the early history of wall-paper (forthcoming, 2013), and a methodological statement, ‘The pre-Historic Renaissance’, Postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 3:1 (2012), pp. 119-133.
Areas of Research/Interest
Renaissance literature and culture; history of the book; literary theory; theories of writing.
Modern Languages Association, the Renaissance Society of America, the Shakespeare Society of America.
Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award for Graffiti and the Writing Arts of Early Modern England; Ahmanson/Getty Fellowship, Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Junior Fellowship, Society of Fellows, Harvard University.
Graffiti et arts scripturaux à l’aube de la modernité anglaise. Trans. Jean-François Caro. Les presses du réel, 2011.
Taxidermies: the Work of Peter Briggs (catalogue). Tours, 2007.