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Matthew C. Rubery
Queen Mary University of London (London N10 1DN United Kingdom)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 12/31/2015

The Untold Story of the Talking Book

I am applying for an NEH Fellowship to complete a book manuscript titled "The Untold Story of the Talking Book." This will be the first scholarly book to examine the significance of recorded literature since Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877. My project traces the tradition of recorded literature from Edison’s phonographic books played on wax cylinders to talking books made in America and Britain for blinded soldiers returning from the First World War and, much later, the commercial audiobooks with which we are familiar today. Attending to the poetics and politics of recorded literature, this book contends that talking books are a distinct medium that have profoundly influenced the way we read.