National Endowment for the Humanities Holds Institute on The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures in Salt Lake City This Summer

- by Michael Stillman

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The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures.

The National Endowment for the Humanities will be holding a four-week institute for college and university faculty at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City this summer. It will run from June 18 – July 13, 2018. The title of the institute is The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures, and its aim will be to explore how the book’s evolving material qualities promote and circulate cultural knowledge. Applications for the program must be received by March 1 and a stipend of $3,300 will be provided to successful applicants to help defray costs such as travel and living expenses. Notice of acceptance of applications will be issued on March 28.

 

English Professor Lisa Bickmore and Associate Professors Melissa Helquist and Charlotte Howe have provided the following description of the program:

 

"The Institute will consider the history of the book from material and embodied perspectives, studying how new and old forms of book technology and circulation impact the creation of and access to humanities scholarship and knowledge. In addition to looking at the history of the book, we will also consider the present moment of the book’s evolution as a prologue to humanist innovation, as developing technologies, digital and multimodal, offer a host of new forms and distribution channels. We will explore how transformations in the book can change interactions between bodies of knowledge and individual human bodies.

 

"The Institute’s activities will be hosted in the SLCC Publication Center, a multi-function space designed to enhance learning about the publication and circulation of print and digital documents. The Publication Center features a digital design lab and a print production room, with high-performance printers, various equipment for binding and hand-built book creation, and an etching press. Five stellar guest faculty will focus our study and instruction, including book artist and scholar Johanna Drucker, historian Nicole Howard, art historian Anna Arnar, and media/disability scholar Mara Mills."

 

The Institute's website provides further detail, explaining, "The Institute will offer college faculty who teach primarily undergraduates an immersive learning experience, with ideas, practices and projects that can be transferred directly to the classroom. Through the study of significant texts, interaction with notable visiting scholars, and historically contextualized book production, Institute participants will have multiple opportunities to broaden and deepen their understanding of the book’s history and future and to develop experiential teaching models. Historian Robert Darnton has described the history of the book and reading as 'one of the most vital fields in the humanities.' Participants will be able to apply the scholarly and practical knowledge gained through the Institute to humanities teaching in multiple contexts: the classroom, scholarly publishing, student literary magazines, digital humanities projects, small-scale publishing projects, and more."

 

To learn more about the Institute and how to apply, please visit their website at www.slcc.edu/neh/index.aspx