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Dr. Jesse R. Erickson & Dr. Sarah Werner Appointed Editors of PBSA

We are delighted to announce that the new editors of Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America will be Dr. Jesse R. Erickson and Dr. Sarah Werner.

Both have strong editorial experience: Werner was a guest editor at Shakespeare Quarterly, textual editor of Norton Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and founding editor of The Collation;  Erickson serves on the editorial board of the University of Delaware Press and Publishing History. The pair offers an unparalleled breadth of expertise, from incunables and early modern print and manuscript (Werner) to 19th and 20th Century American print (Erickson) to digital media (Werner). In addition, they bring a wide diversity of professional backgrounds – Werner is an independent scholar with long experience in the library world and academia, as well as a successful author of the widely-adopted Studying Early Printed Books 1450-1800: A Practical Guide; Erickson is both an Assistant Professor in English and a Special Collections librarian at the University of Delaware. Both have established outstanding reputations as engaging speakers in the world of bibliography and beyond. In addition to this broad subject and professional identity coverage, they bring exciting areas of research expertise: Werner’s work on feminist bibliography is newly available in a California Rare Book School course; Erickson’s extensive collaborative experience in curating exhibitions at Delaware and elsewhere, as well as his ethnobibliographical research on Ouida and Black bibliography has generated a large following.

We are impressed by the team’s commitment to diversifying the field of bibliography, not just through their combined networks and research expertise, but by engaging with high-level disciplinary questions in order to reaffirm PBSA’s position as the flagship journal in bibliographic studies. The Equity Action Plan is central to their team vision, and they propose to diversify all aspects of PBSA’s coverage, with attention not only to neglected geographical and chronological areas, but also material forms, proposing special issues on subjects such as ephemera and the non-codex. They had clearly given a lot of thought to the journal’s future role within the larger publishing environment, and expressed commitment to building on the journal’s existing strengths while also broadening its coverage and potential readership.

Erickson and Werner received the unanimous support of the Search Committee, with unanimous confirmation by the Executive Committee. They begin collaborating with Editor David Gants and Managing Editor Meaghan J. Brown this July, with their transition to full editorship taking place in January 2022 following Dr. Gants’s stepping down from the role of editor as Editor. Dr. Gants and Dr. Brown are excited by what Erickson and Werner bring to the journal as the next chapter in its long history is set to unfold, and look forward to working with them on a smooth transition.

On behalf of the Publications Committee, the BSA recognizes and applauds Dr. Gants after 9 years of service as Editor. His dedication and leadership have safely guided our journal to a productive and happy relationship with the University of Chicago Press and maintained the Society’s long tradition of rigorous bibliographical scholarship in PBSA. We also thank Dr. Meaghan J. Brown for her strong support of the journal as Managing and Book Reviews Editor, and for continuing her work through summer 2022.

A Message from Drs. Erickson & Werner

We are honored to be asked to lead PBSA and excited about the possibilities ahead of us. We believe that the field of bibliography is strengthened by a broad attention to different textual objects and theoretical frameworks even as it builds on its intellectual heritage: codices alongside ephemera, tablets, and websites; Western print and manuscript traditions as well as the wide range of African, Asian, and indigenous textual traditions; analytical bibliographic work together with ethnobibliography, feminist, queer, and ecocritical theorizations. Likewise, inclusive scholarship is at the core of our approach, and we are committed to expanding the range of voices represented in the journal. The BSA has long been a space for expanding our knowledge of bibliographical work, and we are eager to build on that tradition and to make PBSA a home for conversations about the nature of and futures for bibliography. We applaud the BSA’s Equity Action Plan, and we are committed to its implementation in our work.