The Book and Print Initiative was founded in 2017 to bring together scholars of books, printed material, and printing, at all career stages, across the School of Advanced Study (SAS). It is an umbrella for new and existing projects. As part of the UK’s research centre for the humanities, it provides a national focal point for the interdisciplinary, global study of word, image, and other written content from before the print era (manuscripts, palaeography, codicology) through to its future (digital humanities). The Book and Print Initiative unites the study of printed material as a physical object with the information it contains and its influence on society. Rejecting the conventional limits of ‘text and image’, its inclusive remit spans artefacts of bindings to zoological illustrations.
SAS’s member institutes have long provided international research leadership in the history of the book. The Institute of English Studies (and its London Rare Books School) defined the field in the UK. SAS expanded the field of the History of the Book to include deeply interdisciplinary methodologies, which is one reason why the topic is of growing importance across the humanities and social sciences but rarely taught elsewhere.
SAS continues to pioneer ways of understanding books as material objects (analytical bibliography, printing techniques, economic histories), social and cultural objects (the history of reading, the history of communication), and textual, pictorial andinformational objects (text, illustrations, diagrams, marginalia).
For the Autumn Term 2021 the Book and Print Initiative seminar series will continue online via Zoom. All sessions will take place Thursdays at 1.00-2.00pm UK time. Please book to receive the meeting link.
7 October 2021: Dustin Dixon (Grinnell/ICS): 'Reading, Spectating, and Comic Wit in Classical Athens' - ONLINE