Dr Heather H. Yeung from the School of Humanities is one of the panelists taking part in a roundtable discussion on November 12th on the development of book production and globalisation (sign up details below). The images in this post are all from the University’s amazing archives and special collections taken by PhD student Mhairi Rutherford.


Book of Hours from 1515

The event considers the the ways in which the book, as material artefact, knowledge/art container, and/or metaphorical catchall for text-based printed and digital matter articulates with questions of the global. How is and for how long has the history of the book been bound up with, restricted, or enlivened by the ways in which we have, and continue to conceptualize the globe, globalization, and globality?

Printed in Paris in 1631 by the Compagnie de la Grand-Navire, an association of printers and publishers

Might we connect various development of book production, circulation, trade, and cataloguing to significant moments in the history of globalization? How do these questions articulate with the following:
– Post- and de-colonial perspectives on the book and other ephemeral literary matter
– Renegade global networks of book, pamphlet, and/or printed ephemera exchange
– The effects on aesthetics/the ‘literary’ of the conceptualization/perception/categorization of the book as commodity

An exposed binding showing print waster used as binding

– ‘New’ (and old) materialisms, the global, and the book (qua codex, or in an expanded sense)
– Phenomenological, conceptual, and practical effects of satellite/digital map-making on ‘Atlases’ and printed visualizations of the global imaginary and e-texts and digitally scanned texts on complex materialities of literary/artist books, ‘poetry objects’, and book-related ephemeral matter
– The challenges and rewards of the digital ‘codex’; the interactions of book materiality and dimensionality with digitization
– The effects of ISBN and other standardization orders on book publication, circulation, collection, categorization/archiving; renegade modes or schemes of book categorization and their relationship to standard ‘histories’ of the book
– Post-hoc applications of ‘globalized’ ISO metrics on pre-1970 printed matter
– The politics of pamphleteering; local and global dissemination

There’s a lot to love about this little vellum bound book; the manuscript binding waste; the glimpse of the ties; the inscription at the top of the engraved title page, part of which reads “Brugis 1691” (possibly Brugge). This is a copy of “Noe Architectus aecae & Nicetas seu triumphata incontinentia” by Jesuit writer Jeremias Drexel (1581-1638), printed in Antwerp in 1640 by the widow of J.Cnobbar (see the bottom of the title page “Apud viduam Io. Cnobari). Its engraved title page beautifully illustrates its contents. Depicted is Noah’s Ark, including the dove and some very unfortunate drowned people. Some of them do look like they’re swimming though. (description by Mhairi Rutherford)

– The polyglot book; the challenges of multilingual publishing/translation
– The book as concept vs. the book as artefact vs. the book as technology; what have been the ‘extended senses’ of the book in the past, and do these relate to the ‘extended senses’ of the book in the c.21st ?

This vellum manuscript has been used to bind a book printed in Frankfurt in 1625.

Invited panellists will respond to one or many of the aspects of the above provocation, which will then open up into a general discussion. We look forward to welcoming you to the roundtable! Register here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/slade-150-symposium-series-spineless-wonders-tickets-191659146667

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