The Spaces of Bookselling with Kristen Highland
Date & Time: Mar 31, 2023 02:00 PM London
Zoom Meeting: https://bangor-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/98327456202 (Meeting ID: 983 2745 6202)
Claiming Space: Sidewalk Bookselling and Belonging in New York City
This talk explores sidewalk bookselling in New York City as a dynamic space and practice for redrawing cultural, social, and legal boundaries of belonging for the bookseller and their customer-readers. Sidewalk booksellers everywhere must erect their tables on the unstable and shifting space of the sidewalk as regulated and politicized public and social space. In New York City in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, while sidewalk booksellers benefited from First Amendment exemptions for vending print material, municipal space management strategies continued to circumscribe and contain street bookselling. Within this tension, New York City’s sidewalk booksellers crafted geographies of belonging through diverse strategies of evading regulatory enforcement and cultivating intellectual and social exchange. Using the liminal and contested space of the sidewalk not only to make a living but also to create an inclusive space that incorporates the book and bookselling into the dynamics of urban social exchange, New York City’s sidewalk booksellers assert the value of books on streets.
Following Kristen’s talk, she will be interviewed by Eben Muse about her recent CUP Element, The Spaces of Bookselling, followed by an open Q&A session with all attendees.
Kristen Highland is Assistant Professor of English at American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Her research focuses on book history and the material dimensions of literary culture, including the social and cultural life of American bookstores, as well as digital humanities and mapping. She has recently published The Spaces of Bookselling: Stores, Streets, and Pages with the Cambridge University Press Elements in Publishing and Book Culture series.
Bookshops: Online and On the High Street
The 2nd Annual Bookselling Research Network Conference, in association with the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing
When: 3rd-4th July 2023
Where: University of Reading
CFP Deadline: Extended to 15 March
Jeff Deutsch, in his recent In Praise of Good Bookstores, reflected that because “we no longer need bookstores to buy books…bookstores might well be an inefficient and inconvenient way to buy books in the twenty-first century.” Yet, as he goes on to show, and the industry seems to confirm, “good bookstores” are evident everywhere. The second annual Bookselling Research Network conference looks to discuss both the impact of bookshops in an era of online retailing and how booksellers, the book trade, and book-reading communities use online environments to return people back to the bookshop – wherever in the world these might be. What are the affordances, pitfalls, and challenges of bookselling in a digital era? What innovative, unique, or era-defying practices are evident and thriving? How have changes in bookselling affected literary production and reception? What cultural or political concerns remain prevalent for booksellers? What does it mean to operate a bookshop today?Continue Reading “Bookshops: Online and On the High Street”
Working in Bookselling: Bill Samuel and Trevor Goul-Wheeker
Working in Bookselling Interview Series
Bill Samuel and Trevor Goul-Wheeker have, between them, run some of Britain’s biggest bookshops, and so we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to find out more about their careers in the industry. Bill was Vice Chairman of his family’s business Foyles bookshop for twenty years until the company was sold in 2018. In that time, he was involved in other projects such as the creation of the Emirates Literature Festival held in Dubai. He now has a place on the board of the BA and is chair of Batch. His wife Vivienne has always worked in the book trade, too, which is how they met.
Trevor, after working in the chemicals and biochemicals industries as a B2B marketeer, became managing director of Hammick’s bookshops in 1994, becoming non-executive director of books at W.H. Smith in 2003, and was chairman of Blackwell’s for ten years until 2019. He served on the council of the BA for nine years and received two British Book Awards for Marketing and Services to Bookselling. In 2012, Trevor was appointed Chair of the Business School Advisory Board at the University of Greenwich, who generously awarded him with an Honorary MBA in 2015.
We asked Bill and Trevor the same questions about their longstanding careers and their responses give a fascinating glimpse into their views on bookselling, what they love about the trade and the advice they would give to booksellers out on the shopfloor of today.Continue Reading “Working in Bookselling: Bill Samuel and Trevor Goul-Wheeker”