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Histories and Futures of Publication: On meaning and material form

Bonnie Mak (Illinois & Penn State)
Textual Studies Program speaker series schedule
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 3:30pm
Communications 202

Bonnie Mak

Associate Professor, iSchool and Program in Medieval Studies, University of Illinois
Senior Fellow, Center for Humanities and Information, Pennsylvania State University

“Writing in Wood and Word”

The presentation offers an overview of a collaborative project that deploys both wood and word in humanities scholarship. Bonnie Mak will explore the processes behind her co-authored series of publications that include a hand-crafted cabinet and travelling suitcase-sized box, and discuss the challenges of such research in relation to the institutionalized activities of collection, classification, and preservation. Under consideration will also be the metrics of productivity, and specifically whether they can account for different performances of scholarship in the academy. Drawing from practice, the talk sheds light upon the relationship between form and content, materiality and meaning, and originals and reproductions, as well as the costs and consequences of alternative modes of scholarly publication.

Bonnie Mak is an associate professor at the University of Illinois, jointly appointed in the iSchool and the Program in Medieval Studies. She teaches courses in the history and future of the book, and offers seminars about reading practices and knowledge-production. Her first book, How the Page Matters (2011), examines the interface of the page as it is developed across time, geographies, and technologies. She is at work on two projects that explore respectively the sociology of digitizations and the manufacture of data, and the role of design in humanistic scholarship. She is currently Senior Fellow of the Center for Humanities and Information at the Pennsylvania State
University.   Reception to follow.

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Histories and Futures of Publication

An interdisciplinary speaker series in manuscript, print, and digital cultures.

Sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, the Textual Studies Program, UW Libraries, the Information School, Modern Language Quarterly, and the departments of Classics, Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media, English, and French & Italian. 

Updated information at:


Histories and Futures of Publication Speaker Series Poster (PDF)

Bonnie Mak Presentation Flyer (PDF)

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