The conference “Geist im Buch. Historische Formen und Funktionen des Buchs in den Geisteswissenschaften” (The Book in the Humanities: Historical Forms and Functions) will be held at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 3-5 April 2014. It is organised by Caspar Hirschi (University of St. Gallen) and Carlos Spoerhase (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

The main goal of this conference is to historicise the current discussion about the crisis of the humanist book. It will cover both the early modern and late modern period and include the changing epistemic, economic, social, symbolic and aesthetic functions of the scholarly book. The speakers will look at various disciplines, from philology to philosophy and art history, and some will also present, as a means of comparison, new findings on the history of the scientific book.

You can find further information on: If you are interested to visit this conference, you can register by e-mail. Contact person is: Simone Zweifel, SHSS, University of St. Gallen (simone.zweifel[at]


Thursday, 3. 4. 2014

14.00 Caspar Hirschi und Carlos Spoerhase: Introduction

Section: The book as a cultural and commercial object (Das Buch als kulturelles und kommerzielles Gut)

15.00 Michael Hagner: “Buchkritik als Kulturkritik”; commentary by Dieter Thomä

16.15 Coffee break

16.45 David Oels: “Geist im Sachbuch? Das schwierige Verhältnis der Wissenschaft zu ihrer Popularisierung”; commentary by Philipp Theisohn

18.00 Diner

19.00 (s.t.) Keynote by John Thompson: Trade Publishing: Past, Present, Future

Friday, 4. 4. 2014

Section: The image in the humanistic book (Das Bild im geisteswissenschaftlichen Buch)

09.30 Andreas Hauser: “Kunst im Buch: des Geisteswissenschaftlers Kunst”; commentary by Christian Demand

10.45 Anke te Heesen: “Objekte im Buch?”; commentary by Valentin Groebner

12.00 Lunch

Section: Handbooks and textbooks (Handbücher und Lehrbücher)

13.45 Hans-Harald Müller, Mirko Nottscheid, Myriam Richter: “Grundrisse und Handbücher. Zu einem geisteswissenschaftlichen Publikationstypus zwischen 1880 und 1930”; commentary by Steffen Martus

15.00 Ute Schneider: “Das mathematische Lehrbuch um 1900 als soziales Konstrukt zur Positionsbestimmung der Disziplin”; commentary by Lutz Danneberg

16.15 Coffee break

Section: The scholarly book in the early modern period (Das gelehrte Buch in der frühen Neuzeit)

16.45 Emma Spary: Publicity and the Sciences in France, 1760-1790; commentary by Andrea Albrecht

18.00 Diner

19.00 (s.t.) Keynote by Ian Maclean: Publishing Learned Books in Europe Before and After the Thirty Years War: the Case of Legal Humanism

Saturday, 5. 4. 2014

Section: Theory and paperback (Theorie und Taschenbuch)

09.30 Vincent Kaufmann: “,French Theory’: Professoren? Intellektuelle? Schriftsteller?”; commentary by Marcel Lepper

10.45 Philipp Felsch: “Theorie im Zeitalter der Taschenbuchrevolution”; commentary by Georg Stanitzek

12.00 Coffee break

12.30 Final discussion

One comment

  1. […] The Book in Humanities : Historical forms and functions. – 3-5 April 2014 […]

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