A. Franklin Parks II (1948-2014)

Testimonials and Messages


By Carla Mulford
November 22, 2014

Dear colleagues,

This afternoon I learned the sad news from Eleanor Shevlin that our friend, Frank Parks, died suddenly at his home last weekend.

I came to know Frank as a member of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing and the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, where we shared presentations together on printing history and culture. Frank just published with the Penn State Press his valuable study of William Parks titled William Parks: The Colonial Printer in the Transatlantic World of the Eighteenth Century (2012). He spent his career at Frostburg State University, having achieved degrees from Salisbury State University and then Stony Brook.

I had so been looking forward to seeing him at the upcoming SEA conference in Chicago. His was always a cheering presence, on either side of the panel table, whether as speaker or audience member.

Yours in peace,
Carla Mulford, English, Penn State


By Amy Branam Armiento

Dear SEA Members,

With great pride, I forward to you two links for Frank’s memorial page. He was an amazing colleague and friend. I am so happy that I was able to work with him at FSU and to share ideas about scholarship.

A feature on Dr. Parks that ran in our student newspaper, The Bottom Line. The author was one of Frank’s former students:

A feature on Dr. Parks that ran in our city newspaper:

Amy Branam Armiento


By Eleanor F. Shevlin

In Memoriam: Frank Parks from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP)

On behalf of SHARP’s Executive Committee and its membership, I am writing to pay tribute to the memory of Frank Parks. SHARP members were greatly saddened to learn of his sudden, untimely death this past November. A longtime SHARP member and SHARP conference presenter, Frank was a scholar of transatlantic eighteenth-century literature and culture with a special interest in print and periodicals.  We will greatly miss his company, dedication to print culture studies, and conference presentations. His richly informative study of William Parks, William Parks: The Colonial Printer in the Transatlantic World of the Eighteenth Century, was published in 2012 by Penn State Press.  These past few years he had been hard at work on early eighteenth-century periodicals, presenting preliminary findings at SHARP and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) conferences. This much needed attention to periodicals was especially appreciated.

At his first SHARP conference at the Hague in 2006, he delivered a paper entitled “Worcester Post-man and developing perceptions of local readership among provincial newspaper publishers in eighteenth century Britain.” At subsequent meetings he delivered papers on a range of topics, including  “Science and the readership of early English newspapers” at the 2011 conference in Washington, DC and William Parks’s colonial reprinting of  three of Jonathan Swift’s sermons in Dublin (2012).  Frank also appeared on SHARP-sponsored panels at ASECS, representing SHARP so admirably on these occasions, and he organized one of the two SHARP panels last year for the 2014 ASECS conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Mostly recently, he had established an affiliate relationship between SHARP and the Society for Early Americanists (SEA) and was serving as SHARP’s liaison to this group. In this role he organized an excellent SHARP-sponsored panel, “The Atlantic Exchange:  The Two-Way Street of Reading and Publishing during the Eighteenth Century,” for the upcoming 2015 SEA conference in Chicago, IL. This panel will now take place at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2016 annual conference in Pittsburgh. Professor Carla Mulford (Penn State) has graciously agreed to chair the session in his stead, and a tribute to Frank is being planned for the panel’s start.

A wonderfully kind, dedicated and smart colleague, Frank Parks will be greatly missed by so many SHARP members —and colleagues and friends elsewhere.

Eleanor F. Shevlin, PhD
Professor of English
SHARP Membership Secretary and Coordinator of SHARP Affiliate Societies

Here is Professor Park’s Frostburg State University link: http://www.frostburg.edu/dept/engl/faculty/frank-parks/

What's New/Announcements

2024 EAL Book Prize Nominations Sought February 16, 2024

The editors of Early American Literature are pleased to announce the annual Early American Literature Book Pri...

SEA Featured Scholar, January 2024: Aaron Brown January 30, 2024

SEA Featured Scholar, January 2024: Aaron Brown How did you become interested in studying early American li...

Junior Scholars’ Caucus Virtual Roundtable: “The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Job Documents,” 11 November 2023 October 17, 2023

The Society of Early Americanists’ Junior Scholars’ Caucus is excited to announce “The ‘Ins and Outs...