February 7th: Jessica Brantley, “The Vernacular Book of Hours”

Monday, February 7th | 4:00 pm | McCune Conference Room

More devotional books of hours remain in modern libraries than any other kind of book from late medieval England:  almost eight hundred manuscript volumes, and many thousands of printed ones.  And yet this fact has
failed to affect the reading and interpretation of late-medieval literature.  In this talk, Professor Brantley will explore the importance of the book of hours for literary history, investigating the evidence for connections both broad and specific between books of hours and vernacular reading in late medieval England.

Jessica Brantley is Associate Professor of English at Yale University, author of the book Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England, as well as numerous articles on the history of the book in the medieval period.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program.

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William Blake and William Morris: The British Roots of Artists’ Books

William Blake, "The Echoing Green"

Thursday, November 18 / 3:00 PM
Davidson Library, Special Collections Seminar Room (3rd floor)

As part of the celebration of Davidson Library’s acquisition of its 3 millionth volume, The History of Books and Material Texts RFG is holding an interactive presentation on two book artists from opposite ends of the 19th century: William Blake and William Morris.  Though their bookmaking philosophies and styles were quite different, both have had lasting influences in the world of artists’ books.

The presentation will include a introduction to Blake’s and Morris’s works, and the opportunity to view relevant Special Collections holdings.

Please join us!

2010-2011 Plans

Having received the great news that the IHC is funding the History of Books & Material Texts Research Focus Group for a third year, we’re eager to continue developing our program of events for the year ahead and would be pleased to have your input.  We’d especially like to have indications of interest in our Research Share series, and to hear your suggestions for speakers to invite.

In addition to inviting speakers whose expertise is relevant to book history and textual materiality, we’re hoping to dovetail with the IHC’s “Geographies of Place” theme for this year (see http://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/category/series/geographies-of-place/ for more info).  If there’s a speaker you’d especially like to see, please send a name our way.

Research Share with Sophia Rochmes & Ulrich Keller

Friday, May 28 | Crowell Reading Room, 6028 HSSB | 3:00-4:30

Sophia Rochmes will discuss Jean Mielot’s Speculum Humanae Salvationis for Philip the Good (1396-1467), a draft of a manuscript containing Mielot’s translation of the Latin typological book.  This minute provides ample evidence to discuss issues of production and use of luxury manuscripts in the court of Philip the Good, including the relationship of text to image, the relationship of format to use, and the functions of books in the ducal library.

Ulrich Keller will share his research on text/image packages published in mass circulation magazines like LIFE, and in popular, large-edition books. Photographs shot for and published by LIFE with captions and texts have a way of resurfacing decades later in art galleries and museum exhibitions as expensive collectors’ items, assuming a very different appearance and meaning compared to the original publication.

Presentations will be followed by discussion.  We certainly hope to see you there!

CANCELLED: May 14: Nile Green, “Everybody Must Get Stones: The Iranian Search for Lithographic Technology”

Friday, May 14 | McCune Conference Room, HSSB | 4:00pm –CANCELLED

Nile Green is a Professor of History at UCLA and author of Indian Sufism Since the Seventeenth Century: Saints, Books, and Empires in the Muslim Deccan (2006), among several other books and articles. He studies the Middle East and South Asia in the 18th through 20th centuries, specializing in religion and colonialism.  Recently, his work has focused on exchange between Europe and Asia and on the history and technologies of the “Islamic” book.

Professor Green’s talk at UCSB will reconstruct the circumstances in which, amid a burgeoning international market for lithographic materials, Iranians gained access to these printing technologies around 1830. Within a year either side of 1818, the first Muslim printing presses were established in Tabriz (Iran), Bulaq (Egypt) and Lucknow (India). These founding typographic presses were the fruit of distinct local interactions with the industrializing marts of Europe that a few years later sowed seeds for the second round of interactions which spread lithography through Asia. Having been invented with drawing and musical notation in mind, the transfer of lithographic techniques for printing handwritten Persian was one of the earliest and most successful examples of the adaptation of a European industrial technology to local demands overseas.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Mellichamp Endowed Chair in Global Religions and Modernity, the Comparative Literature Program, the Religious Studies Department and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Johanna Drucker: Learning from the Codex

Friday, February 19, 4:00pm

McCune Conference Room, HSSB

Johanna Drucker is author, book artist, visual theorist and cultural critic. She holds the Martin and Bernard Breslauer Professorship, Department of Information Studies, UCLA.

Her talk will address our understanding of the way the graphical organization of codex books supports functionality has increased dramatically in the era of digital design activity. The analysis of format features and design elements in print, once approached largely from an aesthetic study of style or a bibliographical analysis of material production, is now focused on functions. This reassessment provides a foundation for the design of information structures in digital environments, but must be qualified by an engagement with new capabilities of electronic media. This talk suggests a few basic premises from the study of the codex as a diagrammatic space that might be of value in the design of digital environments at various scales.

Harry Reese (College of Creative Studies) and Alan Liu (English) will be respondents to Dr. Drucker’s talk, and their comments will be followed by a general discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by the departments of Art, History of Art and Architecture, Film and Media, the College of Creative Studies, and is endorsed by the English Department.

Johanna Drucker Reading Discussion

Please join us for an informal discussion of some of Johanna Drucker’s recent writings in preparation for the talk she will be giving here on the 19th.  Links to both articles are below:

“The Virtual Codex: From Page Space to E-Space”: http://www.philobiblon.com/drucker/

“Entity to Event: From Literal, Mechanistic Materiality to Probabilistic Materiality”: Parallax_FinalFF

The discussion will take place on Tuesday, February 16, from 4-5pm in HSSB 6056.

Johanna Drucker: Learning from the Codex

Friday, February 19, 4:00pm

McCune Conference Room, HSSB

Johanna Drucker is author, book artist, visual theorist and cultural critic. She holds the Martin and Bernard Breslauer Professorship, Department of Information Studies, UCLA.

Her talk will address our understanding of the way the graphical organization of codex books supports functionality has increased dramatically in the era of digital design activity. The analysis of format features and design elements in print, once approached largely from an aesthetic study of style or a bibliographical analysis of material production, is now focused on functions. This reassessment provides a foundation for the design of information structures in digital environments, but must be qualified by an engagement with new capabilities of electronic media. This talk suggests a few basic premises from the study of the codex as a diagrammatic space that might be of value in the design of digital environments at various scales.

Harry Reese (College of Creative Studies) and Alan Liu (English) will be respondents to Dr. Drucker’s talk, and their comments will be followed by a general discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by the departments of Art, History of Art and Architecture, Film and Media, the College of Creative Studies, and is endorsed by the English Department.

Material Texts in Medieval France, February 22

Anne-Marie Legaré and Olga Karaskova (Histoire de l’Art, Université de Lille-3)
Monday, February 22, 4:00pm

HSSB 6056

This event will feature two presentations by visiting scholars from Université de Lille-3:

Professor Anne-Marie Legaré, Histoire de l’Art:  “Refashioning Guillaume Deguilleville’s Pèlerinage de vie humaine: The Influence of Print on a Late Prose Manuscript Version (Geneva, Nat. Lib., ms. fr. 182)”

Olga Karaskova, Histoire de l’Art and Curator of The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg:  “The Manuscript Books of the Wives of René d’Anjou, Isabelle de Lorraine (c. 1400-53) and Jeanne de Laval (1433-98), in the National Library of Russia, Saint-Petersburg”

Discussion with the speakers will follow.

The Bookmaker & Tools for Self-Awareness

Please join us for an interactive tour of the new campus print studio led by Harry Reese and Alejandro Casazi, and for a lively discussion on this quarter’s theme, “The Bookmaker’s Tools.”  Following the tour and discussion, we will be thinking as a group about other potential events for the coming year.

Thursday, November 19
11:30am-1:00pm
Print Studio: Building 434, Room 0109

We’ll be basing our discussion of the bookmaker/printer’s tools on Ivan Illich’s work.  Links to a David Cayley interview with Ivan Illich, and a 1991 speech by Illich on “Text and University” are available here:

http://www.arts.ucsb.edu/faculty/reese/Fall2009/illich_cayley.mp3

https://materialtexts.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/1991_text_and_university-1.pdf