Philology Today: Select Secondary Bibliography

I’m five years into my doctorate at NYU and have gathered up quite a bit of the secondary literature on philology in the English-speaking world. Here are some of the central texts.

A good overview of the entire contemporary discourse on philology can be read in Hui, Andrew. ‘The Many Returns of Philology: A State of the Field Report’. Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 78, no. 1, 2017, pp. 137–56, doi:10/gf2vt8.

Interesting reflections on methodology and conceptualisation within the history of philology can be found in Daston, Lorraine, and Glenn W. Most. ‘History of Science and History of Philologies’. Isis, vol. 106, no. 2, June 2015, pp. 378–90. doi:10/gfc4wx.

World philology

World philology is about the histories of philological practices around the globe.

Holquist, Michael. ‘The Place of Philology in an Age of World Literature’. Neohelicon, vol. 38, no. 2, Dec. 2011, pp. 267–87. doi:10/czqs35.

Pollock, Sheldon, et al., editors. World Philology. Harvard UP, 2015.
Pollock’s Introduction to this volume is the seminal framing of the ‘world philology’ concept.

(See also Anthony T. Grafton and Glenn W. Most, eds. Canonical Texts and Scholarly Practices: A Global Comparative Approach. Cambridge UP, 2015.)

Philological Encounters.
A journal: 3 volumes since 2016.

Cox, Whitney. Modes of Philology in Medieval South India. Brill, 2017.

Ahmed, Siraj. Archaeology of Babel: The Colonial Foundation of the Humanities. Stanford UP, 2018.

Philology as humanities disciplines’ origin

Was philology the ancestor of the humanities?

Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. ‘History of Literature, Fragment of a Vanished Totality?’ New Literary History, translated by Peter Heath, vol. 16, no. 3, 1985, pp. 467–79. doi:10/d7mmq9.

Ziolkowski, Jan. ‘What Is Philology’, Introduction. Comparative Literature Studies, vol. 27, no. 1, 1990, pp. 1–12.
The rest of Comparative Literature 27.1 is also relevant.

Guillory, John. ‘Literary Study and the Modern System of the Disciplines’. Disciplinarity at the Fin de Siècle, edited by Amanda Anderson and Joseph Valente, Princeton UP, 2002, pp. 19–43.

Momma, Haruko. From Philology to English Studies: Language and Culture in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge UP, 2013.

Turner, James. Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities. Princeton UP, 2014.

New philology

There are two ‘new’ philologies: one reconsiders MSS treatment in medieval studies, aiming to de-centre the ‘original’ and treat textual copying as worth studying in itself; the other names a linguistic orientation in Mexican ethnohistory.

Nichols, Stephen G. ‘Introduction: Philology in a Manuscript Culture’. Speculum, vol. 65, no. 1, 1990, pp. 1–10. doi:10/dpgwmj.
The rest of Speculum 65.1 is comprised of articles on the medievalist new philology.

Restall, Matthew. ‘A History of the New Philology and the New Philology in History’. Latin American Research Review, vol. 38, no. 1, 2003, pp. 113–34. doi:10/fhg2xd.

Digital philology

The fitness of textual-philological practices for digital and digitally-mediated texts.

McGann, Jerome. ‘Philology in a New Key’. Critical Inquiry, vol. 39, no. 2, 2013, pp. 327–46. doi:10/gf2xxv.
And more in McGann, Jerome. A New Republic of Letters. Harvard UP, 2014.

Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. ‘Philology and the Complex Present’. Florilegium, vol. 32, Jan. 2015, pp. 273–81, doi:10/gf2xxs.