Conference: Medium, Object, Metaphor: The Printed Book in Contemporary American Culture. Konstanz, 5-7 November 2015

Our new associated scholar Heike Schäfer has alerted us to the following conference which she is convening in Konstanz in November:

The conference brings together European and North American scholars from the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, book studies, and media studies to discuss the changing cultural functions that the printed book performs in the digital age. Since we read, write, and discuss literary texts in a broad variety of media today, the book’s privileged position in literary culture has begun to wane. At the same time, the rapid digital transformation of contemporary culture has lead to a reinvestment of writers, readers, and publishers in the printed book as a material object, as an analog medium of signification and communication, and as a metonym for print culture and the humanist values and modes of knowledge production associated with it. The conference sets out to examine the shifting ways in which the printed book is used, represented, and theorized in contemporary American culture. It explores the impact digital technologies and practices have exerted on literary print culture to advance a media cultural reorientation of literary and cultural studies that would enable us to understand literary texts both in their media specificity, intermedial context, and transmedial configuration.

The program can be downloaded here. Confirmed speakers are Aleida Assmann (Konstanz), Christoph Bläsi (Mainz), Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (Utrecht), Alison Gibbons (Sheffield), Antje Kley (Erlangen-Nürnberg), Reingard M. Nischik (Konstanz), Beate Ochsner (Konstanz), Jessica Pressman (San Diego), Janice Radway (Evanston/Chicago), Regina Schober (Mannheim), our blog co-administrator and associated scholar Alexander Starre (Berlin), Monika Schmitz-Emans (Bochum), Garrett Stewart (Iowa City), John B. Thompson (Cambridge).

The conference is open to the public, and all students and faculty are welcome. If you would like to attend the conference as a guest, please register with Ramona Fischer-Weiß. A conference fee of 30 € will be due on arrival. Faculty and students of the University of Konstanz may attend the conference free of charge.

For more information, please visit the conference website.

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