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Grant number like: FB-57859-14

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Hester Blum
Penn State (University Park, PA 16802-1503)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$37,800 (approved)
$37,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2014 – 5/31/2015

Polar Exploration and Anglo-American Print Culture, 1818-1914

"Polar Imprints" examines the unexpected role coterie or private publishing played in Anglo-American polar exploration from 1818-1914 in order to think more broadly about the emerging field of oceanic studies. There existed a rich but largely unremarked upon tradition of shipboard printing and other forms of publishing in the polar regions themselves. After 1850 many expeditions brought a nonstandard piece of nautical equipment aboard ship: a printing press. With such presses, polar-voyaging sailors wrote and printed newspapers, broadsides, plays, and other reading matter beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. My book attends to the fascinating and heretofore obscure history of polar printing in order to explore the broader question of how we read, archive, and understand literary and intellectual production. "Polar Imprints" is attuned to the tension between the global ambitions of polar voyages, and the remarkably circumscribed conditions of their practice.