CfP Medium Buch – Wolfenbütteler interdisziplinäre Forschungen

Our associated member Ute Schneider (Mainz) has asked us to share this new CfP with our readers and followers.

Starting in 2019, we will publish the traditional Wolfenbütteler Notizen zur Buchgeschichte in a new format. One issue per year will be published under the new title Medium Buch – Wolfenbütteler interdisziplinäre Forschungen. Like its predecessor, the new journal is published by the Wolfenbüttel working group for library, book and media history.

For the 2019 issue we are looking for praxeological studies on book history that address the variants of book use from a historical perspective. In recent years, starting from questions of ethnology, research on material culture and the resulting social practices has made great progress in differentiating itself from research on structural processes of communication and action in the cultural sciences. The book as a medium is particularly suitable as an object of investigation for practical research because form, function and meaning of its medial qualities are strongly conditioned by its materiality. The use of books is socially transformed and is regulated by different cultural techniques. Reading is generally a basic prerequisite for the use of a book, but is extended and supplemented by a variety of other forms of usage. As a material object and trigger of social practices, the book was and is firmly embedded in physical, spatially and temporally determined habits and routines. The meaning and form of these practices in dealing with the book are oriented on the one hand to its materiality and sociality and thus to the value attributed to the book. On the other hand, practices are determined by the position of the book in the epoch-specific media context.

Contributions to this multi-faceted complex of topics can be based on the following questions, for example:

– What functions and power have been attributed to the book as a medium in specific contexts of use?

– Which social practices in dealing with the book were established and which have been passed on?

– Which spaces, times and processes determine the use of books?

– In what way does object-materiality force a certain handling of the medium?

– In which media contexts does book communication take place?

– To what extent do ritualized or habitualized forms of reception exist?

Especially welcome are source-saturated case studies and/or theory-based approaches from book studies, library studies, history of science, media history, communication studies, literary studies, cultural anthropology or art history.

The editors ask for a short abstract (approx. 450-500 words) and a short bio (approx. 250 characters) by 25 January 2018; please send this to and A decision will be made by 22 February at the latest. The editorial deadline for the contributions is 30 June 2019.



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