Travis E. Ross, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Utah, will present “Literary Industries: Hubert Howe Bancroft’s History Company and the Privatization of the Historical Profession on the Pacific Coast.” The event will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, November 19.
By the end of the nineteenth century, history writing was in the process of transitioning from a leisure activity for wealthy amateurs into a disciplined profession for a new class of academically trained historians whose research and publishing was underwritten by their university salaries. So the story goes. In the middle of that transitional period, between 1870 and 1890, the destination of professionalization remained uncertain. During that moment, a vertically integrated alternative to the modern historical profession dominated the Pacific Coast, eliciting surprising public support for a private monopoly over historical collecting, writing, and publication. This talk will reframe the professionalization of the historical enterprise by exploring the promise and the ultimate failure of the most (in)famous dead end along the road to our modern, academic profession.
Crystal Miles and Kathi Neal
Bancroft Library Staff