Themes

How did people in Europe between 1700 and 1900 use printed matter to mediate and structure their social and interpersonal interactions?  On one hand, silently reading a printed book is usually understood as a solitary activity, even an alienating one.  On the other, engaging with printed matter...

The extraordinary range of work on Book History and Print Culture produced in recent years has sometimes tended to isolate print from other media. But we know that cultural consumers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ranged omnivorously among several media: printed texts and printed...

The history of the book has often been characterized by its insistence that the meaning of the book is inseparable from its existence as a material artifact. While we continue to attend to the material objects of print culture, however, we also understand that those objects are made meaningful...

What is the agency of print? Since Elizabeth Eisenstein's path-breaking study, scholars have been exploring the complicated interrelationship of print media and human and technological agency. In 2009-10 we explored how the notion of interactivity can allow us to address the eighteenth-century’s...

How did printed texts interact with other media to help form communities in Europe from 1700 to 1900? As reading became an individual activity rather than a communal one, it also drew together communities whose members couldn’t meet face to face. But how did self-consciously literary communities...

This theme explored how the saturation of print media in the eighteenth century involved not only the literary practices of reading and writing, but also the visual and aural aspects of corporeal experience. Examining a variety of print objects (book illustrations, broadsides, sheet music, song...

In our first year, we took as our theme the central concept of our research group: the idea of interaction with print as a cultural practice. We considered ways in which people interacted with printed texts, printed texts interacted with other media, and printed matter structured interactions...