Julie Park is a material and visual culture scholar of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England who works at the intersections of literary studies, information studies and textual materiality. Her research examines the unexpected ways in which human subjects are inseparable from the material things, environments and devices of everyday life in historical contexts. She writes about such artifacts, tools and spaces as automata, quill pens, notebooks, grottoes and follies, exploring their abilities to shape, channel and model the innermost experiences of the embodied self in everyday life. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr College, MA and PhD from Princeton University, and MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles.
She is the author of The Self and It: Novel Objects in Eighteenth-Century England (Stanford University Press, 2010), and editor of several journal special issues: The Drift of Fiction (2011) for The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, as well as Interiors (2008) and War (2006) for Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Her current project is My Dark Room, which examines the material environments of inner experience, from writing closets to women’s detachable pockets in eighteenth-century England, positing the camera obscura as a critical paradigm for understanding their functions as spaces of interiority. Another current project, Writing’s Maker, explores the materiality of multi-media inscription practices as interconnected channels of thinking, creating and record making for writers of the long eighteenth century and today.
Park’s co-edited collection with Miriam Jacobson, Organic Supplements: Bodies and Things of the Natural World, 1580-1790, is forthcoming from the University of Virginia Press in 2020. Other publications appearing in 2020 include articles on 18th-century speaking machines (AI Narratives, Oxford University Press), the extra-illustration of eighteenth-century printed books as heritage reenactment (Routledge Handbook of Reenactment Studies), sexual prostheses as instruments of libertine writing technology (Journal of Narrative Theory), and the early modern penmanship flourish as a medium for embodied creativity (Organic Supplements).
She is Assistant Curator/Faculty Fellow in the Special Collections Center of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library and a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University, where she is developing the Fales Collection, curating exhibitions, performing outreach and reference work, and teaching book history. In October 2019, she will be a resident scholar-librarian in Wake Forest University Library’s Special Collections, where she is curating an exhibition on commonplace books, leading workshops for undergraduates in English and history classes on interacting with and describing bibliographic artifacts, and delivering a public lecture: “Index, Table, Self: Eighteenth-Century Commonplace Books.”
After working for several years as a professor of English, she is delighted to become part of a deeply interdisciplinary and collaborative field that gives her sustained opportunities to interpret, promote and teach rare books and manuscripts while working with them in an especially tactile fashion. Moreover, she is thrilled to be able to engage more directly with the public while contributing to the shaping of knowledge and the preservation of cultural heritage. Her prior faculty positions include Associate Professor for Research in English at Vassar College, as well as Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies and Co-Editor of Eighteenth-Century Fiction at McMaster University.
A recipient of several research fellowship and grant awards, including long-term fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Huntington Library, she will be a visiting research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) of the University of Edinburgh in 2020. At the IASH, Edinburgh, she will collaborate with the Center for the History of the Book as well as the Edinburgh College of Art.