The Program in the History of the Book in American Culture (PHBAC) is hosting a new series of Virtual Book Talks. This installment features Corinna Zeltsman, Assistant Professor of History at Georgia Southern University, who will present on her recent book Ink Under the Fingernails: Printing Politics in Nineteenth-Century Mexico (University of California Press, 2021).
During the independence era in Mexico, individuals and factions of all stripes embraced the printing press as a key weapon in the broad struggle for political power. Taking readers into the printing shops, government offices, courtrooms, and streets of Mexico City, historian Corinna Zeltsman reconstructs the practical negotiations and discursive contests that surrounded print over a century of political transformation, from the late colonial era to the Mexican Revolution.
Centering the diverse communities that worked behind the scenes at urban presses and examining their social practices and aspirations, Zeltsman explores how printer interactions with state and religious authorities shaped broader debates about press freedom and authorship. Beautifully crafted and ambitious in scope, Ink under the Fingernails sheds new light on Mexico's histories of state formation and political culture, identifying printing shops as unexplored spaces of democratic practice, where the boundaries between manual and intellectual labor blurred.
The Virtual Book Talk Series showcases authors of recently published scholarly monographs, digital-equivalents, and creative works broadly related to book history and print culture. Each installment includes an informal presentation from the author and a Q&A with the audience. These talks are streamed live for registered participants and are recorded for posterity. Talks typically last 45 minutes.
Information on future PHBAC book talks may be found at https://www.americanantiquarian.org/virtual-book-talks.