Heike Schaefer, Alexander Starre
This research project, titled “The Printed Book in Contemporary American Culture” (PDF), investigates the cultural roles that printed books play in today’s modern American society. It investigates how people’s perspectives on books and how they read them have changed in light of the digital revolution that has taken place in the culture of American media. These essays, which are located at the intersection of American studies, book studies, literary studies, and media studies, demonstrate that a sustained concentration on the medial and material formats of literary communication significantly expands our typical approaches to the field of cultural studies. This interdisciplinary volume introduces readers to current transatlantic conversations on the history and the future of the printed book by addressing the changing roles of publishers, authors, and readers while also covering multiple bookish formats such as experimental fiction, artists’ books, bestselling novels, and zines.
“In an era where there are flourishing reading environments, what function does the printed book serve?” The essays that were collected by Heike Schaefer and Alexander Starre perform a brilliant search of the book’s materiality in an increasingly complex media ecology. These essays demonstrate the ways in which the codex of today both contributes to and appears from a shifting economic and cultural landscape. Along the way, the reader is prompted to consider how a method of “medial close reading” may create new opportunities and forge new connections across disciplines such as comparative literature and American studies, as well as media studies and book history. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Professor of English and Director of the Digital Humanities at Michigan State University in the United States of America
PLEASE TAKE NOTE That the offering comes with a PDF version of the booklet titled “The Printed Book in Contemporary American Culture.” There are no access codes contained within.
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