The Fate of the Book
For the current Symposia, please visit The Fate of the Book website by clicking the image below.
The future of the book seems uncertain. In both the academy and the popular press, anxieties abound about the book’s inevitable “death” at the hands of the e-reader, Google, and other digital media. In spite of these shifts and prevailing uncertainties, the physical artifact of the book continues to dominate our thinking about reading and text—the codex intrigues historians, literary critics, general readers, and artists alike. Desperate to keep readers from abandoning the paper book, many publishers in the print trade are turning to eye-catching design strategies, cover art, and innovative packaging, enlivening the book arts and emphasizing physicality just when they seem under threat. Meanwhile, digital projects like Google Books have widened the reach of library collections and historical materials like never before, generating debates about Open Access and elitist economics.
Co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies (TILTS) symposia in 2012-13 will discuss "The Fate of the Book." Tracking changes in book production, book preservation and reading practices, this series begins with a public lecture by novelist and print historian Nicholson Baker. In panel presentations throughout the academic year, TILTS contributors will analyze and debate the sweeping changes to books, readers, and culture wrought by new digital and web technologies both within and beyond the university. Panelists will include scholars, librarians, collectors, curators, and writers in various fields: literature, economic history and business, university administration, and popular culture.
Elizabeth Scala and Janine Barchas, Co-directors
Andrea Golden, Institute Co-ordinator
Jenn Shapland, Graduate Student Co-ordinator