Centre for the History of the Book

Symposium: Books and/as New Media

For the last 500 years, printed books have been the default means of circulating knowledge. In the last 15 years, this has ceased to be the case.

We are now living through a moment of media change as significant as the invention of printing itself. But we will not understand this moment until we situate it in historical perspective.

These twinned symposia aim to do that, by bringing together leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic working on book history, media, literature and digital humanities. All of them will attend both symposia, with the speakers at one event becoming the interlocutors at the other.

Re-embedding the book in the changing media ecology, these symposia explore the long history of new media - from a time when the printed codex was the new medium, through the book’s encounters with the new media of photography, lithography and sound recording, to the digital revolution. In doing so they offer a more nuanced and historicized account of the book’s place in the shifting mediascape.

Harvard Symposium

The first symposium will take place from the 14th to the 15th of May 2015 in Harvard University's Houghton Library and the Barker Centre.

Harvard Symposium

Edinburgh Symposium

The second symposium will be held here in Edinburgh University from the 9th to the 10th of July 2015 in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at 50 George Square.

Edinburgh Symposium