Document Type


Author Biography

Lisa Maruca is an Associate Professor of English at Wayne State University. The author of The Work of Print: Authorship and the English Text Trades, 1660-1760, she publishes on British print culture as well as pedagogy, past and present.

Kate Ozment is Assistant Professor of English at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She has published on feminist bibliography and women’s engagement with books in Textual Cultures, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Eighteenth-Century Studies, and she has a minigraph forthcoming on Hroswitha Club and women book collectors.


This introduction to the special issue, “New Approaches to Critical Bibliography and the Material Text,” defines critical bibliography as a method that, at the intersection of critical theory and bibliographic study, challenges standard histories of the book and bookish objects. Drawing on feminist studies, critical race studies, postcolonialism, Marxism, queer theory, and disability studies, among others, critical bibliography, the authors argue, calls attention to the structures of oppression upholding the circulation, preservation, and organization of material texts—but also the possibilities of liberation therein. Taking up this method from a variety of fields and periods, the essays in this issue take on the very grounds, definitions, and boundaries of traditional bibliography, asking epistemological and ontological questions that interrogate the material and conceptual construction of bibliographic knowledge itself.