Dr Louisa Preston, WiRe Women in Research Fellow, August 2021–April 2022
Professor Danielle Fuller
WWU Fellowship for International Visiting Scholars
Memoir across markets: Assessing the value of a transnational, bestselling genre
What is the “value” of a memoir translated from English into German for the publishing industry and for readers? How does such a “memoir” become a bestseller in Germany? In this project Danielle Fuller and Corinna Norrick-Rühl will investigate a recent industry phenomenon: the simultaneous publication of a memoir into the anglophone and German markets in an effort to secure a high volume of sales of the German-language version. We want to understand how memoir as a genre moves between the anglosphere and the German book industry. To achieve this, we will select a memoir that has achieved bestseller status in German-speaking countries during the first quarter of 2023 (January to March, the period immediately preceding Danielle’s visiting professorship) and construct a contextualized case study of the memoir’s production, circulation and reception.
“Memoir Across Markets” connects to another research project that Danielle is engaged with currently. She is the Principal Investigator for “Reading for Our Lives: Readers, Memoir, Social Media,” a three year project that is funded by SSHRC (Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Canada) [2023-5]. Reading for Our Lives (R4OL) is a collaboration she is pursuing with her long-term research partner, DeNel Rehberg Sedo (Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada), alongside two scholars of life writing: Julie Rak (University of Alberta) and Anna Poletti (Utrecht University). R4OL is investigating how readers share and write about their own lives on various social media platforms while reading about the lives of others in published memoirs.
Danielle Fuller is a Full Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta on Treaty 6/ Metis Region Nation 4. Before immigrating to Canada in 2018, she worked at the University of Birmingham, UK, for 21 years. Danielle’s main area of research is readers and contemporary cultures of reading on- and off-line. However, her interest in lived experience as a form of knowledge threads through diverse research that takes up a range of methods. These have included quantitative and qualitative modes of enquiry, ethnographic and participatory methods of working with readers, and arts-based methods of making things with research participants such as games, apps, “spas” and Twitterfic. She has collaborated on and/or lead interdisciplinary research projects about mass reading events; adult leisure readers; children as readers, and bestsellers and online reading recommendation cultures; as well as a multidisciplinary investigation of pregnancy loss. Publications include two monographs, Writing the Everyday: Atlantic Women’s Textual Communities (2004), and, with DeNel Rehberg Sedo, Reading Beyond the Book: The Social Practices of Contemporary Literary Culture (2013). Danielle and DeNel also co-edited “Readers, Reading and Digital Media,” a themed issue of Participations (May 2019). Their minigraph, Reading Bestsellers: Recommendation Culture and The Multimodal Reader, will be published by Cambridge University Press in April 2023. An article from the same research project about Young Adult readers, genres and online book reviewing practices is forthcoming in a special cluster edited by Sarah Brouillette and Susana Sacks about “reading with algorithms” in the online, OA journal Post45 (July 2023). Danielle’s article about the Babbling Beasts project which focused on children as readers and as researchers of reading will also appear in 2023 in Mémoires du Livre 13.2.
DAAD Short-Term Grant
This project will present a contextual analysis of methods, findings, and implications of 21st-century book history scholarship focusing on gender equality which is conducted in German and focuses on the German-language book market.
Research in contemporary book history focusing on gender equality often draws on a growing, but still limited number of studies, many of which examine Anglophone contexts, often solely on a nation-by-nation basis. To grow understanding of issues of gender inequality, this project will examine and uncover the conceptual foundations, disciplinary approaches, methodologies and ideological perspectives in research on gender equality in contemporary German book history studies, and what findings this research has resulted in. How intersectional are these research projects, and how do they conceptualise gender-based oppression as single-axis or multi-axes models? It will further refer to these findings’ implications for research into gender equality in contemporary Anglophone book history studies. This project will provide contextual analysis, and forge international research networks across linguistic boundaries.
Brief biographical statement:
Christina Neuwirth is a PhD candidate at University of Stirling, University of Glasgow and Scottish Book Trust. Their PhD project examines gender equality in contemporary Scottish publishing. Using a feminist community-based and participatory mixed-methods approach, it focuses closely on Scottish literary sector output from 2017-2019. This doctoral research was funded by a Creative Economies Studentship by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Prior to undertaking this doctoral research project, Christina graduated from the MSc in Creative Writing at University of Edinburgh (2014) and holds a BA in English and American Studies from University of Graz (2013). Christina is also a bookseller, volunteer assistant librarian for Bi/Pan Library, and author; their debut novella Amphibian was published in 2018.
SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher
Chiara Bullen will participate in a three-month exchange with the University of Münster's Book Studies department and the DFG-funded collaborative Law and Literature research centre. She will contribute to the "Literature and the Market" sub-project, exploring the relationship between law and literature and its impact on society and culture. Proposed project outputs also include organising "Law and Literature" events and establishing a network between the Book Studies departments at the University of Stirling and Münster. Chiara will also continue working on her PhD research investigating the social responsibilities of book publishers in the 21st century.
Brief biographical statement:
Chiara Bullen is a PhD researcher at the University of Stirling across Publishing Studies, Literature and Law. She is on the University of Glasgow's Transatlantic Literary Women committee and is a GTA at the University of Glasgow on the 'English Literature: The Novel & Narratology' module. Chiara was awarded an SGSAH SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher grant in 2021.
Dr Louisa Preston
WiRe Women in Research Fellow
Louisa Preston, BA (Hons) Fine Art, MFA, MLitt, PhD.
Research Project Title: An autoethnographic study of artist-publisher activity and Artists’ Book Fairs in the UK
Louisa Preston’s research project takes an autoethnographic approach towards exploring artists’ book fairs in the UK, artist-publishing activity and associated networks of production, consumption and dissemination. The project aims to investigate: what modes, functions and networks artists’ books, and artist-publishing activities reveal; the agendas at play in the processes of production, consumption and dissemination of artists’ books and how those relate or compare to their counterpart book fairs in the literary network; and asks in developing the artists’ book fair what is at stake in terms of the positioning of artist practice and book arts/publishing in this field to the mainstream book publishing industry.
Brief biographical statement:
Louisa Preston was awarded her PhD titled ‘Post-Digital Audience Engagement Activity in and across Visual Arts and Publishing’ from the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, University of Stirling and the School of Management, University of St Andrews in 2019. Her thesis illuminated complex and transforming relationships between publishers, cultural organisations, and their audiences, reinforcing and enhancing our understanding of the place and role of publishing amongst other cultural mediums in the post-digital age. She graduated from the MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling in 2012. She also completed the M.F.A and B.A (Hons) in Fine Art at DJCAD, University of Dundee in 2008 and 2004 respectively.