Marie-Claude Felton

Marie-Claude Felton holds a BA in history from McGill, an MA in history from the Université Laval, and a PhD from UQÀM and the EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris). The recipient of numerous prizes and research fellowships in Canada and internationally, her dissertation will be published in monograph form this year as part of the Voltaire Foundation Series, Oxford University Press. Marie-Claude comes to McGill from her two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Department of History at Harvard where she investigated the role of self-publications in the dissemination of scientific knowledge in France before the Revolution. At McGill, she will broaden the intellectual scope and the geographical and temporal contexts and undertake the first comparative and broader study of self-publishing in Europe in the 18th and 19thcenturies. Working with Professor Andrew Piper, she will ask: How did different legislative, economic, and cultural contexts influenced the practice and significance of self-publishing? What was the place of self-published writers in the book market and what was their reception among readers? Can their activity challenge traditional depictions of a larger domination of publishers at that time? What was the role of these authors’ experience and their claims within the genesis of modern copyright? At the center of her analysis, primarily based on archival research in Paris, Leipzig and London, Marie-Claude will take a closer look at the role of authors-publishers on the European book market, the reception of their works, and the significance of their claims within the genesis of modern copyright. Her argument is that only by understanding the place of these numerous, yet little studied authors can we gain a more nuanced understanding of the history of authorship in the modern period.

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Marie-Claude Felton détient un B.A. (First-Class Honours) de l’Université McGill, une maîtrise en histoire de l’Université Laval ainsi qu’un doctorat en histoire (PhD) de l’UQÀM et de l’EHESS. Après deux ans de recherche postdoctorale à l’Université Harvard, elle est présentement boursière Banting à l’Université McGill, au sein de l’équipe Interacting with Print. Sa première monographie paraîtra en mars 2014 chez Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment sous le titre Maîtres de leurs ouvrages. L’édition à compte d’auteur à Paris au XVIIIe siècle. Alors que nous sommes témoin d’une montée fulgurante de l’édition à compte d’auteur, principalement grâce aux nouvelles plateformes numériques, cette pratique est ancrée dans un passé longtemps sous-estimé. Marie-Claude Felton travaille présentement à une histoire comparée de cette pratique aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles en Europe. Elle veillera à mieux saisir comment les contextes législatifs, économiques et culturels propres à chaque pays (France, Angleterre et Allemagne) ont influencé la pratique et la portée de ce mode éditorial. Au centre de son analyse, basée sur des recherches dans les archives de Paris, Londres et Leipzig, Marie-Claude Felton se penchera plus précisément sur la place qu’occupent les auteurs-éditeurs sur le marché littéraire européen, la réception de leurs ouvrages et le rôle de leur revendications dans l’élaboration des droits d’auteurs modernes.

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