October 29, 2007 New Center for the Book Publication To Be Featured at Book History Symposium on Nov. 2
Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the University of Massachusetts Press has published “Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies After Elizabeth L. Eisenstein.” A symposium featuring several of the contributors to the volume will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, from 2 – 5 p.m., in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., Washington, D.C. Inspiring debate since the early days of its publication, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein’s “The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformation in Early-Modern Europe” (1979) has exercised its own force as an agent of change in the world of scholarship. Its path-breaking agenda has played a central role in shaping the study of print culture and “book history”—fields of inquiry that rank among the most exciting and vital areas of scholarly endeavor in recent years. “Agent of Change” brings leading print culture scholars together to affirm the catalytic properties of Eisenstein’s study as a stimulus to further interdisciplinary research and writing. From early modern Europe to the electronic age, the authors address the legacy of Eisenstein’s work in print culture studies today as it suggests future directions for the field. Featuring 20 wide-ranging essays on print culture from Renaissance Europe to the contemporary digital world, “Agent of Change” is edited by Sabrina Alcorn Baron, Eric N. Lindquist and Eleanor F. Shevlin. The symposium will include three brief papers and a roundtable discussion about the current state of print studies. Presenting papers in a session titled “Print in Early Modern Europe” will be Ann Blair, professor of history at Harvard University; Arthur Williamson, professor of history at California State University in Sacramento; and Paula McDowell, associate professor of English at New York University. Participating in the roundtable discussion will be Elizabeth Eisenstein, Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History, Emerita, at the University of Michigan; Antonio Rodriguez-Buckingham, professor of library and information science and director of the program in humanities, Emeritus, at the University of Southern Mississippi; Robert Gross, James L. and Shirley Draper Professor of Early American History at the University of Connecticut; and Peter Stallybrass, Walter H. and Lenore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its program, publications and reading promotion partnership networks, see www.loc.gov/cfbook.