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Page history last edited by Patricia Fumerton 1 year, 2 months ago

Schedule of Readings and Assignments for English 236, "Ephemera" (Winter 2017)


This graduate course offered by Patricial Fumerton in the UCSB English Department meets Winter 2017, Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3:00 pm, in South Hall 2635.



Class 1 (Jan. 11) — Introduction: What is Ephemera, Then and Now?

NOTE: This class will begin 15 minutes later than usual, at 12:45 pm. and will end a half hour later than usual, at 3:30 pm. The Quilligan lecture is open to all comers; it will begin at 1:30 pm.


  • Guest Speaker Maureen Quilligan (Emeritus, Duke University), “Solid Gold Ephemera”


What is Ephemera? (Class First Impressions):

  • pieces of culture that are temporary or fleeting or those items/works that get discarded or forgotten. 
  • something that is intended for pleasure or enjoyment only for a short time. 
  • Ephemera is material that is not intended to last.
  • Things that are ephemeral are transient, not supposed to last for a long time.
  • something unsubstantial or temporary--outside the official record or the will/capacity, but perhaps not the desire, to archive. The unrecorded record, as in temporary cast-on stitches.
  • art or writings or objects created without expectation of lasting beyond their immediate use; term usually academic in use regarding historical items.
  • texts meant to be used in a cursory manner, like brochures, and flyers; also detritus, small pieces of cast off material resulting from a process.
  • ephemera are the objects and practices that permeate larger methodologies of life and yet exist in their margins.
  • objects or events that are momentary or fleeting, but while typically thought of as temporary, they are not resistant to archiving or memorialization.
  • Ephemera consists of the materials and objects (physical or digital) that are designed to circulate within and across given societies.
  • Ephemera is something that has persisted to exist against the odds and against the creator's original intention.


OED Definition:




Class 2 (Jan. 18) — Pressing Moments: Tracts and Libels (16th-17th Century)


  • Primary Readings

The Churchyard/Camel "Flytings":

    • Thomas Churchyard, “Davy Dycars Dreame” 1551 (pdf)
    • Thomas Camel, “To Dauid Dicars when,” 1552 (pdf)
    • Thomas Churchyard, “A replicacion to Camels obiection,” 1552 (pdf)
    • Thomas Camel, “Camelles reioindre to Churchyarde,” 1552 (pdf)
    • Thomas Churchyard, “The surreioindre vnto Camels reiondre,” 1552 (pdf)
    • Thomas Camel, “Camelles conclusion,” 1552 (pdf)

Anti-Feminist Debate Tracts

    • “Hic Mulier” (1620), in Half Humankind, 264-276
    • “Haec Vir” (1620), in Half Humankind, 277-289


  • Critical Readings
    • Eric Nebeker, “The Broadside Ballad and Textual Publics,” SEL: Studies in English Literature 51.1 (Winter 2011): 1-19 (pdf)
    • Half Humankind: Contexts and Texts of the Controversy about Women in England, 1540-1640, ed. Katherine Usher Henderson and Barbara F. McManus,



  • Reports (may also want to think/talk about twitter, snapchat, instagram)
    1. Christene D'Anca



Class 3 (Jan. 25) — Conspicuous Consumption: Tearing Down the Masque (early 17th century), Galla Weddings, Balls, and Mardi Gras (19th – 21st century)



  • Primary Readings

Jacobean Masques 

    • “Masque of Blackness,” 1605 (pdf)
    • “Masque of Beauty,”1608 (pdf)
    • “Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue,”1618 (pdf)
    • “For the Honor of Wales,”1618 (pdf)
    • “Oberon; the Faery Prince,” printed 1611 (pdf)

21st Century Weddings and Balls

Mardi Gras


  • Critical Readings
    • Stephen Orgel, Introduction, The Complete Masques: Ben Jonson (Yale UP), 1-39 (pdf)
    • Patricia Fumerton, “Consuming the Void: Jacobean Banquets and Masques,” in Cultural Aesthetics: Renaissance Literature and the Practice of Social Ornament, 111-67 (pdf)


  • Reports:
    1. Sofie S. Thomsen
    2. Merav Schocken



Class 4 (Feb. 1) — Multi-Media Tactics: Broadside Ballads, Broadside Magazine, the Music Scene


  • Guest Speaker Colton Saylor (UCSB)


  • Primary Readings

Visit to UCSB Special Collections (MSS 212) to Review Original Issues of the Broadside Magazine, published 1939-91; bulk 1960s-1980s. Please read rules for viewing and handling rare materials: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/special-collections/research/rules

In reading and listening to all the tunkes, think of not only what's being said, but whose singing it and where/when. Also think of them textually, visually, and as ephemeral performances

Broadside Ballad Readings/Listenings

The Broadside Magazine, 1962-1988

    • Wikipedia article on the Broadside Magazine
    • Complete Collection of the Broadside Magazine (from Sing Out!)
    • Introductions to The Best of Broadside, 1962-1988: Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of the Broadside Magazine, produced by Jeff Place and Ronald D. Cohen (Smithsonian Folkways, 2000) (pdf)
    • “The Broadside Years,” from Red Dust and Broadsides: A Joint Autobiography, Agnes “Sis” Cunningham and Gordon Friesen, ed. Ronald D. Cohen (U of Mass Press, 1999), 273-301 (pdf)




  • Suggested Readings
    • John M. Hellmann, Jr., "I'm a Monkey": The Influence of the Black American Blues Argot on the Rolling Stones,” The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 86, No. 342 (Oct. - Dec., 1973): 367-373 (pdf)


  • Reports
    1. Jeremy Moore





Supplementary or Complementary Path to Class 4, From Broadside Ballad Tactical Visuals:

You may choose this route for Class 4, or for your research paper, but you must still read the selections of songs provided above by Colton Saylor (from Dylan to "Dink's Song")


Class 4 (Feb. 1) Alternative Path—Recycling : Worms, Woodcuts, and Comic Strips



  • Reports
    1. Maite Urcaregui
    2. Lucy Holtsnider



Class 5 (Feb. 8) — Monumental Moments: Newspapers and Periodicals


  • Guest Speaker William B. Warner (UCSB)


  • Primary Readings
    • Manuscript newsletter, 1693, Huntington Library (in jpg images for detail, 1, 2, 3, 4) (also as one file in pdf)
    • Newspaper excerpts below accessible through the UCSB Library database, 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers:
      • Mercurius Britannicus No. 54 (14-21 Oct. 1644)
      • London Gazette No. 24 (1-5 Feb. 1666), pdf
      • The Post Boy No. 1671 (24-26 Jan. 1706)
      • Morning Advertiser No. 1851 (10 Dec. 1799), pdf
      • Tatler No. 224, 14 Sept. 1710, pdf ,and No. 155, 4 April 1710, pdf
      • Spectator No. 10, 12 March 1711, pdf

  • Secondary Readings
    • Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media, Ch. 1 (pdf)
    • William B. Warner, "Truth and Trust and the Eighteenth-century Anglophone Newspaper" (pdf) 
    • Will Slauter, "The Paragraph as Information Technology: How News Traveled in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World," Annales HSS 67, no. 2 (April-June 2012: 253-78) (pdf)


  • Reports
    1. Tyler Shoemaker
    2. Jeremy Moore
    3. Maite Urcaregui



Class 6 (Feb. 15)  — Miscellanies, Excerpts, Marginalia (16th c. to present)


  • Guest Speaker Arthur Marotti (Emeritus, Wayne State University)


  • Primary & Critical Readings
    • Ink, Stink, Bait, Revenge, and Queen Elizabeth, pp. 1-106

  • Recommended Readings
    • Laura Estrill, Dramatic Extracts in Seventeenth-Century English Manuscripts: Watching, Reading, Changing Plays (Delaware, 2015)
    • H. J. Jackson, Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (Yale, 2001)


  • Reports: (on selected sections from Ink, Stink, and Bait from the second half of the book (after pp. 106)
    1. Giorgina Paiella
    2. Christene D'Anca



Class 7 (Feb. 22, 1:00-3:00 pm, Huntington Library) (Note place/date/time change)

— Cutting and Pasting: Extra-Illustrated Books of the 19th Century

Trip to the Huntington for a workshop on selections from the Library’s huge collection of extra-illustrated books. (Please plan to arrive at the Huntington by 11:30 am for lunch with the workshop leader, Lori Anne Ferrell. We will gather at the top of the stairs to the Munger Research Library (E on map); there, I will get you passes to the gardens and library.) Driving Directions to the Huntington.


  • Guest Speakers Stephen Tabor (Curator, Huntington Library) and Lori Anne Ferrell (Claremont Graduate School)




Class 8 (Mar. 1) — Disappearing Games and Planned Obsolescence


  • Guest Speaker Jeremy Douglass (UCSB)




Class 9 (Mar. 8) — "404": Curating Networks


  • Guest Speaker Alan Liu (UCSB)




Class 10 (Mar. 10) (Note date/place change - Friday March 10, 12:30-3pm, EMC)

— Class Presentations


  • Class Presentations on Draft of Each Individual Student’s Research into His/Her special field of Ephemera Study


Research papers Due: Friday, March 17

     (email them to me as Word doc and PDF)


What is Ephemera? (Last Impressions):


The O.E.D. traces the first use of the word "ephemera" to 1398, citing it as a noun indicating "one dayes feuer," which "is as it were the heet of one daye." By the late 17th c., "ephemera" had expanded to include "An insect that (in its imago or winged form) lives only for a day, and by the 18th c., the word "ephemera" had expanded to include "One who or something which has a transitory existence." Though the noun "ephemera" has evolved in its use over time, its one consistency is to denote that which is temporary, short-lived, impermanent, momentary, and fleeting.


In studying what would generally (at least by moderns) be considered as "ephemera" from 1550 to the present in England, across a wide variety of forms and genres, is  . . .




Note: The course ends a week early because I will be traveling, working at the British Library, and lecturing in England, March 18-April 1. Students will thus receive an incomplete for the class due to my inability to grade your papers by the time that grades are due. I will grade the papers the first week of April and file a corrected grade by April 10. If this poses a problem for you, please let me know.

Also, to underscore, anyone who is taking this course for other than Field 11, Area V, needs to file a petition with Andrea Ellickson to be submitted to the Graduate Committee for approval to have the course counted toward the field you want. With your petition, you should attach the course syllabus, a copy of your reports in class, if any that covered the Area for which you are petitioning, and a copy of your research paper, which should also be on that Area. Area Requirements are listed here.


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