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Guest Lecture: Ports as Transcultural Spaces "Print Culture Above and Below the Water Line"

Dec 04, 2018 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm

"Print Culture Above and Below the Water Line: Coast, Colony, Custom House and Copyright"

Speaker: Prof. Isabel Hofmeyr, University of the Witwatersrand


Much colonial print culture originated outside the colony and had to pass through a port city to reach its readers.  In the precinct of the port, Customs and Excise officials examined print material to determine that it was not suspect in some way – pirated, seditious or obscene.  Customs officials hence came to oversee colonial copyright policy as well as the protocols of censorship.  This paper examines the shaping of literary institutions in the port city, arguing that we need to pay attention both to processes on land but also to the larger ecology of the port and how this shaped the functioning of departments like Customs and Excise.


© The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Department of Docks and Police Station, Pier A, North River, Manhattan." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1936. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-4f88-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


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