What is a Book? Authorship, Textuality, and Reading from the Age of the Codex to the Digital World

Oct 14, 2015

The lecture will discuss the mutations of written culture, and particularly the definition of the “book” from the birth of the codex to the digital age. It will focus on the challenges launched by the new modes for compassing, publishing, and appropriating texts to the categories and practices which defined, at least from the 18th century on, “l’ordre du discours”, to quote Foucault. Speaker:Roger Chartier is Professor at the Collège de France, Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and Annenberg Visiting Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. His work in Early Modern European History is mainly dedicated to cultural history and the history of the book, printing and reading. He has been lecturing and publishing on the relationship between the material history of institutions and the embodied practices which both animate and survive these institutions: in particular, early modern techniques of reading, disseminating and collecting printed information. His work, based at the intersection of literary criticism, material bibliography, and sociocultural history, is not disconnected from broader historiographical and methodological interests which deal with the relation between history and other disciplines: philosophy, sociology and anthropology. Recognized internationally, Roger Chartier’s hundreds of articles and books have been translated into at least ten different languages. He is frequently asked to lecture or to participate in extended teaching programs in related disciplines, in various countries across Europe, North and South America.Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Dodson Room (302)