Marie-Claude Felton


McGill University (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)

Marie-Claude Felton is a Banting postdoctoral fellow at McGill University. As a member of the Interacting with Print group, Marie-Claude is undertaking the first comparative and broader study of self-publishing in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Working with Professor Andrew Piper, she will ask: How did different legislative, economic, and cultural contexts influenced the practice and significance of self-publishing?  What was the place of self-published writers in the book market and what was their reception among readers? Can their activity challenge traditional depictions of a larger domination of publishers at that time? What was the role of these authors’ experience and their claims within the genesis of modern copyright? At the center of her analysis, primarily based on archival research in Paris, Leipzig and London, Marie-Claude will take a closer look at the role of authors-publishers on the European book market, the reception of their works, and the significance of their claims within the genesis of modern copyright. Her argument is that only by understanding the place of these numerous, yet little studied authors can we gain a more nuanced understanding of the history of authorship in the modern period.

Marie-Claude Felton holds a B.A. from McGill, an M.A. from the Université Laval, and a Ph.D. from UQÀM and the EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris).  She also completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University where she investigated the role of self-publications in the dissemination of scientific knowledge in France before the Revolution. Her monograph Maîtres de leurs Ouvrages. L’édition à compte d’auteur à Paris au XVIIIe siècle will come out with Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment in March 2014.

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