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Guide to the Stanley Fish Papers MS.C.011
MS.C.011  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Reproduction Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement

  • Title: Stanley Fish papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.C.011
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 54.6 Linear feet (157 boxes and 4 oversize folders) and 39.2 unprocessed linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1921-2013
    Date (bulk): 1960-1998
    Abstract: This collection documents Stanley Fish's professional career as a literary theorist and academic. Materials are largely textual--including primarily drafts of his writings, publications, and clippings and photocopies for teaching and research purposes--and range in coverage from his early student work to his most recent professional activities and publications. The collection also includes a limited amount of correspondence, digital material, and many audio recordings, the latter of which document his activities as a public intellectual and teacher. Although each period of Fish's career is represented in collection materials, documentation from his time at Duke University is strongest. Materials documenting his activity as an administrator--department chair at Johns Hopkins and Duke, executive director of Duke Univeristy Press, and dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago--are very limited.
    Creator: Fish, Stanley Eugene

    Access

    Processed components of the collection are open for research. Unprocessed additions may contain restricted materials. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.
    Access to original audiovisual recordings is restricted; researchers may request use copies.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

    Reproduction Restrictions

    All reproduction of materials written by Jacques Derrida must be authorized by designates of his heirs. Contact Special Collections and Archives for more information.

    Preferred Citation

    Stanley Fish papers. MS-C011. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Stanley Fish, 1998-2013. Future accruals are expected.

    Processing History

    Processed by Kurt Ozment, 2000-2002. Finding aid edited by William Landis, 2004 and Alexandra Bisio and Sara Seltzer, 2014.

    Biography

    Stanley Eugene Fish was born April 19, 1938 in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1959. He did graduate work at Yale University, from which he received a Master's Degree in 1960 and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 1962. His dissertation was entitled The Poetry of Awareness: A Reassessment of John Skelton.
    Fish taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1962-1974, at Johns Hopkins University from 1974-1985, and at Duke University from 1985-1998. He was chair of the Department of English at both Johns Hopkins (1983-1985) and Duke University (1986-1992). In January 1999 he was appointed Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a position in which he continues to serve as of 2003 and where he also holds a professorship in English and Criminal Justice.
    Fish is widely known for his work in a variety of areas: Milton, reader-response criticism, professionalism, political correctness, legal theory, and literary theory more generally. Throughout his career Fish has focused on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature, particularly poetry. This is the area in which Fish has taught and published the most, beginning with his dissertation on the poet John Skelton, and continuing through his earliest book publications--including John Skelton's Poetry (1965), Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (1967), Self-Consuming Artifacts: The Experience of Seventeenth Century Literature (1972), and The Living Temple : George Herbert and Catechizing (1978)--to his latest collection of essays, How Milton Works (2001).
    From 1980 onwards, with the publication of Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities, Stanley Fish's work took a much more explicitly theoretical turn. He is frequently acknowledged as one of the founders of reader-response criticism, a reference to his work beginning in the 1970s. The question of interpretation has been central to his scholarly interests, from early reader-response work focusing on the text, to a more reader-centered position and the theory of interpretive communities, to the problem of theorizing interpretation in legal studies.
    Note: Much of the information in this summary of Stanley Fish's work was drawn from an article on Fish by Reed Way Dasenbrock in The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994).

    Chronology

    1938 Born April 19 in Providence, Rhode Island.
    1959 B.A., University of Pennsylvania.
    1960 M.A., Yale University.
    1962 Ph.D., Yale University (dissertation: The Poetry of Awareness: A Reassessment of John Skelton).
    1962-1963 Instructor, University of California, Berkeley.
    1963-1967 Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley.
    1965 John Skelton's Poetry (Yale University Press).
    1967 Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (Macmillan/St. Martin's); reprinted, with a new preface and appendix, 1971 (University of California Press); second edition, 1997 (Harvard University Press).
    1967 Visiting Associate Professor, Washington University.
    1967-1970 Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley.
    1969-1970 Guggenheim Fellowship.
    1970-1974 Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley.
    1971 Editor, Seventeenth Century Prose: Modern Essays in Criticism (Oxford University Press).
    1971 Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins University.
    1971 Visiting Professor, Linguistics Institute, State University of New York, Buffalo.
    1972 Self-Consuming Artifacts: The Experience of Seventeenth-Century Literature (University of California Press).
    1973-1974 Visiting Bing Professor of English, University of Southern California.
    1974-1978 Professor of English, Johns Hopkins University.
    1976-1985 Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland Law School.
    1978 The Living Temple: George Herbert and Catechizing (University of California Press).
    1978-1985 William Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and Humanities, Johns Hopkins University.
    1980 Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities (Harvard University Press).
    1983-1984 Visiting Professor, Columbia University.
    1983-1985 Chairman, Department of English, Johns Hopkins University.
    1985-1998 Arts and Sciences Professor of English and Professor of Law, Duke University.
    1986-1992 Chairman, Department of English, Duke University.
    1989 Doing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric, and the Practice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies (Duke University Press).
    1989 Fellow, Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine.
    1993-1998 Executive Director, Duke University Press.
    1994 There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too (Oxford University Press).
    1995 Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change (Oxford University Press).
    1995 Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellow, Center for Ideas and Society, University of California, Riverside.
    1995 Adjunct Professor of Law, Columbia University.
    1999 The Trouble with Principle (Harvard University Press).
    1999- Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Professor of English and Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago.
    2001 How Milton Works (Harvard University Press).

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection documents Stanley Fish's professional career as a literary theorist and academic. Materials are largely textual--including primarily drafts of his writings, publications, and clippings and photocopies for teaching and research purposes--and range in coverage from his early student work to his most recent professional activities and publications. The collection also includes a limited amount of correspondence, digital media, and many audio recordings, the latter of which document his activities as a public intellectual and teacher. Although each period of Fish's career is represented in collection materials, documentation from his time at Duke University is strongest. Materials documenting his activity as an administrator--department chair at Johns Hopkins and Duke, executive director of Duke Univeristy Press, and dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago--are very limited.

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in 8 series:
    • Series 1. Biographical material, 1954-1998. 1.2 linear ft.
    • Series 2. Student work, 1955-1964 . 2.6 linear ft.
    • Series 3. Writings, 1941-2001. 30.5 linear ft.
    • Series 4. Teaching files, 1962-1998. 2.1 linear ft.
    • Series 5. Professional activities, 1971-1997. 3.3 linear ft.
    • Series 6. Correspondence, 1962-1997. 1.7 linear ft.
    • Series 7. Research files, 1921-circa 2000 . 16 linear ft.
    • Series 8. Audio and video recordings, 1970-1997. 6.8 linear ft.
    This collection also contains four unprocessed additions:
    • Accession 2004.040. Unprocessed addition 2004, 1969-2003. 15 linear ft.
    • Accession 2006.009. Unprocessed addition 2006, 2000-2005. 14.2 linear ft.
    • Accession 2009.028. Unprocessed addition 2009, 1998-2008 (Bulk, 2006-2008). 4 linear ft.
    • Accession 2014.004. Unprocessed addition 2014, 1962-2013 (Bulk, 2000-2013). 6.2 linear ft.