DepositThe Future History of the Book: Time, Attention, Convention

Anxieties abound regarding the ostensible obsolescence of the book. Exploring whether the book is in fact becoming obsolete — and what it might mean if it were — requires thinking distinctly about the specific material form of the book (the codex) and about the content that it has long carried. If the form were to change — becoming digital, for instance — would our interactions with the content still make the book (if not exactly as we have known it) a viable vector for the cultural interactions the codex has supported? Would it be possible for us to find the powerful identification with the electronic book that we long have had with the codex book? And what might need to happen in order to effect such a transfer of our affections?

DepositFEATURE: SRS BOOK PRIZE, 2012: Jan van Naaldwijk’s Chronicles of Holland

The Renaissance Studies Book Prize was established in 2011, first suggested by Professor Claire Jowitt, with the aim to reward work in any area of Renaissance Studies – literature,history, art history, philosophy, history of science, book history, and so on – that has made a significant difference to scholarship. In 2012 the inaugural SRS Book Prize was awarded to Dr Sjoerd Levelt. In this article Dr Levelt describes the research behind his winning book, Jan van Naaldwijk’s Chronicles of Holland: Continuity and Transformationin the Historical Tradition of Holland during the Early Sixteenth Century.

DepositWhat I’m Reading This Summer: Spencer Keralis

My research bridges my interests in media history, in particular history of the book, with my duties helping catalyze conversations around digital humanities, diversity, and social justice in an academic library at a large public university. This summer’s reading has gelled around a couple of slowly converging topics – information literacy and minimal computing in DH pedagogy, and representations of AIDS in late 80s-early 90s countercultures. I’m interested in theorizing DH praxis, as well as understanding how technology implicates its users in systems of power.

DepositReview of Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists

Susan Neiman’s history of philosophy book was reviewed last year (2016) by this reviewer. This year he has reviewed her work which is more neo-Kantian in nature. The reviewer has shown how trans-disciplinary Neiman’s work is and albeit, she will not agree — her work while resisting commodity fetish, also performs its cultural work in a theological manner. Historians of philosophy, theodicy and genocide studies have seen Neiman as an heir to Hannah Arendt. This review critiques this naive relationship. Further, one has to see Neiman as an heir to Edith Stein and thus her contribution to empathy studies is more noteworthy than her work within the secular problem of evil.

DepositFatal Attractions: AIDS and American Superhero Comics, 1988-1994

Between 1988 and 1994 American comic books engaged the politics, problematics, and crises of the AIDS epidemic by injecting the virus and its social, cultural, and epidemiological effects on gay men into the four-color fantasies of the superhero genre. As the comic-book industry was undergoing major internal changes that allowed for more mature, adult storylines, creators challenged the Comics Code Authority’s 1954 sanction against the representation of homosexuality to create, for the first time, openly gay characters. Creators’ efforts were driven by a desire to recognize the reality of gay men’s lived experiences, especially crucial in the epidemic time of the AIDS crisis. Through mainstream superhero comic books a small body of conscientious writers and artists confronted stereotypes and misinformation about HIV/AIDS, championed gay men’s rights, and fought homophobia. Comic-book creators developed a complex, sustained, and lively conversation about HIV/AIDS, gay men, and PWAs that was unprecedented both in the history of comic books and of other forms of popular culture.