The Once and Future Book: On the Nature of Reading
The Getty Center
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2015
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium
From medieval manuscripts to cutting-edge digital tablets, books have always been touched, handled, and, of course, read. This may seem a truism, but today illuminated manuscripts are usually seen in museum cases, out of the reach of readers; and digital technologies are touted more for their flashy components than for aiding readers. Has the nature of reading changed as the material of books has shifted from parchment to paper and digital formats? Has the relationship between reader and book evolved along with the accessibility of the medium? And does the book have a future other than becoming an artifact displayed in museums? Explore these and other questions with Kathryn Rudy and Steve Wasserman.
Kathryn Rudy is senior lecturer in art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Her research concentrates on the reception and original function of manuscripts, especially those manufactured in the Low Countries, and she has pioneered the use of the densitometer to measure the grime that original readers deposited in their books.
Steve Wasserman is editor-at-large at Yale University Press. He was previously editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Wasserman contributes to a wide range of journals, including The Nation, the (London) Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, and the Columbia Journalism Review.
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