Following up on key themes in The Word in the Wilderness, this new podcast welcomes you into the world of manuscript production, popular piety, and spiritual culture in early German Pennsylvania and beyond.
The first season of Cloister Talk has concluded. Listen to Season One below, and look for new episodes in early 2021!
Episode 1: The History of Studying Pennsylvania Germans and Their Illuminated Manuscripts
Ein Unpartheyisches Gesang-Buch… (Lancaster, PA: Johann Albrecht, 1804). M2116 M54. Courtesy of The Winterthur Library, Winterthur, DE.
This episode introduces listeners to trends in the study of Pennsylvania German illuminated manuscripts, commonly called "Fraktur."
Episode 2: What is "Fraktur"? Type, Script, and Art
Michael Baurenfeind, Volkommene Wieder-Herstellung, der bischer Fehr in Verfall gekommenen gründlich-u: Zierlichen Schreib-Kunst… (Nuremberg: s.n., 1716), Z43 B35 F. Courtesy of The Winterthur Library, Winterthur, DE.
This episode explores the many meanings of the word "Fraktur" in its European and American contexts and considers how best to deploy the term when discussing the manuscript art of the Pennsylvania Germans.
Episode 3: Who Were the Pennsylvania Germans, and Why do They Matter?
Johann Arndt, Sechs Bücher vom Wahren Christenthum… (Philadelphia: Georg W. Mentz und Sohn, 1834). BR120 A74w. Courtesy of The Winterthur Library, Winterthur, DE.
Pennsylvania German religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions were extremely complex. This episode offers a quick primer on many of the various German-speaking groups that resided in early Pennsylvania and explores their connection to the devotional manuscript arts.
Episode 4: What is "Manuscript Culture"? Reframing Pennsylvania German Manuscript Studies as a Sub-field of Book History
German children’s picture dictionary (untitled). Germany: s.n., ca. 1836. AG27 G37. Courtesy of The Winterthur Library, Winterthur, DE.
The study of Pennsylvania German illuminated manuscripts has long lacked a coherent theoretical and methodological foundation that situates the enterprise into wider scholarly conversations about religion, language, text, and culture. This episode proposes new approaches to unlocking the meaning of Pennsylvania German manuscripts, grounded in recent advancements in study of the history of texts as material artifacts.
Episode 5: Manuscript Culture Beyond Pennsylvania: Traditions in Asia, the Islamic World, Early Modern Europe, Great Britain, and the Americas
Ioseph de Casanova, Primera Parte del Arte de Escrivir Todas Formas de Letras. Escrito, y Tallado por el Maestro Ioseph de Casanova, Notario Apostolico, y Examinador de los Maestros del dicho Arte en la villa de Madrid, Corte de su Maestad, y natural de la villa de Magallon, Arçobispando de Zaragoça. Madrid: Diego Diaz de la Carrera, 1650, page 54. 11 3/4" H x 8 1/4" W. Z 43 C33 cep 3. Courtesy of the Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY.
Think that the Pennsylvania Germans were alone in their embrace of calligraphy and manuscript illumination as part of their spiritual enterprise? Think again. In this episode, learn about other cultures and communities around the world that employed the manuscript arts as culturally-resonant components of their popular piety long after the so-called "Age of Print" was well underway.
Episode 6: "The Root of Wisdom is to Fear the Lord": Wisdom Literature and Pennsylvania German Manuscript Culture
Hoch-Deutsches Reformirtes ABC- und Namen-Büchlein für Kinder welche anfangen zu lernen. Verbesserte Ausgabe. Philadelphia: Conrad Zentler, 1816. PF3114 H68. Courtesy of The Winterthur Library, Winterthur, DE.
Old Testament wisdom literature looms large over the Pennsylvania German manuscript arts. Learn about the historical significance of the wisdom literature as part of Pennsylvania German popular piety, and why the wisdom books provided such rich source material for scribes.
Episode 7: "Eines Christen Reise": Origins of The Word in the Wilderness
Joh. Bunian (John Bunyan), Eines Christen Reise nach der seeligen Ewigkeit… (Ephrata, PA: Drucks und Verlags der Brüderschafft, 1754). EL2 .B942p. GE 754. Courtesy The Rosenbach, Philadelphia.
In this final episode of the first season of Cloister Talk, learn about the research and writing process that led to the publication of The Word in the Wilderness: Popular Piety and the Manuscript Arts in Early Pennsylvania.