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Nora Benedict

Headshot of Nora Benedict
Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Digital Humanities

I am a book historian and digital humanist focusing on Latin American print culture. More specifically, my research centers on twentieth-century Latin American literature, descriptive bibliography, book history, and questions of access and maintenance surrounding both digital and print cultures. 

My first monograph, Borges and the Literary Marketplace (Yale University Press, 2021), considers the marked presence of books, periodicals, and other print mediums in Jorge Luis Borges’s life by analyzing the physical features of his publications, which I read through the lens of analytical bibliography and material studies. By looking comprehensively at Borges's publications and editorial work from the 1930s to the 1950s,argue that his various jobs in the publishing industry changed not only what people read, but how people read. 

My current project, Taking a Page from their Books, examines how international publishing firms in the Global North capitalized on the economic, political, and cultural opportunities available to them in the book industry in the Global South, specifically developing countries in Latin America. In particular, I provide a series of case study of different foreign publishers who became key figures in Latin American book production during this period. Through a careful analysis of these specific firms, my book reveals the various and nuanced factors (economic, political, literary, and ideological) that shaped the activities and commercial successes of publishers from the Global North in Latin America.

 

Research Interests:
  • Latin American literature
  • Book History
  • Digital Humanities
  • Publishing History
  • Descriptive and Analytical Bibliography
  • Access and Preservation of the Cultural Record
Grants:

Willson Center Fellowship, University of Georgia, 2021–2022

Alfred A. and Blanche W. Knopf Fellowship, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, 2019–2022

Courses Regularly Taught:
Selected Publications:

Books

  • Borges and the Literary Marketplace: How Editorial Practices Shaped Cosmopolitan Reading. Yale UP, 2021.

Articles

  • “The Risks and Rewards of Implementing Digital Humanities Methodologies in Modern Language Graduate Research.” Hispania, vol. 104, no. 4, 2021, pp. 571­–82.
  • “MercadoLibre and the Democratization of Books: A Critical Reading of New Material Affordances and Digital Book History.” Book History, vol. 24, no. 1, 2021, pp. 177–208.
  • “The Transcontinental Book Trade: Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company and Victoria Ocampo’s Sur Enterprise.” Modernism/Modernity, vol. 6, cycle 1, 2021, https://modernismmodernity.org/articles/benedict-transcontinental-book-trade-sylvia-beach-ocampo.
  • “(In)visible Collaborations between los hermanos Borges and los Bioy.” Variaciones Borges, vol, 49, 2020, pp. 89–116.  
  • “Los precursores (estéticos) de los Breviarios del Fondo de Cultura Económica.” Revista Bibliographica, vol. 3, no. 1, 2020, pp. 104–132.
  • “Books about Books and Books as Material Artifacts: Metabibliography in Jorge Luis Borges’s El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (1941).” Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, vol. 42, no. 3, 2018, pp. 451–72. [Published in April 2019]
  • “Censorship and Political Allegory in Jorge Luis Borges’s ‘Viejo hábito argentino’.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, vol. 96, no. 1, 2019, pp. 89–107.
  • “Digital Approaches to the Archive: Multispectral Imaging and the Recovery of Borges’s Writing Process in ‘El muerto’ and ‘La casa de Asterión’.” Variaciones Borges, vol. 45, 2018, pp. 153–169.
  • “La novela negra en Jorge Luis Borges: una aproximación nueva a ‘El muerto’.” Variaciones Borges, vol. 39, 2015, pp. 143–158.
  • “Los golpes del escoplo: el arte de grabar como metáfora en La desheredada.” Decimonónica, vol. 11, no. 2, 2014, pp. 1–18.

Of note:

Since a central part of my research involves the analysis of the physical features of books, I am also an avid book collector. You can read more about my (prize-winning!) collection here:

Education:

Ph.D. University of Virginia, Spanish

  • Major Area: Latin American Literature & Cultural Studies; Minor Area: Analytical bibliography 

M.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Spanish Literature

B.A. Loyola University Maryland, English, Spanish, Art History (Minor)

Events featuring Nora Benedict
DIGI Lab, 300 Main Library

Dr. Nora Benedict, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Digital Humanities at UGA, will walk us through the complications and opportunities provided by translating print materials into a digital format in her current digital project, “Global Networks of Cultural Production,” which analyzes the emergence of a transatlantic literary print culture in Argentina during…

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