Cultures of Communication

An Interdisciplinary Colloquium for the Study of the Book

The Cultures of Communication colloquium brings together scholars from different departments in Stony Brook University’s College of Arts and Sciences whose work engages aspects of the study of the book. In recent years the study of the book has promoted collaboration between researchers from the fields of intellectual and cultural history, comparative literature, communication theory and network analysis, material studies, source studies and stemmatics, epistemology, and the sociology of knowledge. The book as medium and message—to gloss Marshall McLuhan’s memorable formulation—invites a convergence of scholarship from the humanities, social sciences, and media and technology.

The study of the book facilitates this convergence by transcending traditional disciplinary and linguistic boundaries, and drawing together researchers whose objects of study range from papyrus to the PDF, from medieval codex to graphic novel. The diverse historical, material, and cultural contexts explored by Stony Brook researchers invite us to ask not only  “What is a book?”  but also “What can a book be?” and “How does the use of books as objects and as media change in time and place?”

To address these questions and promote new connections among scholars at Stony Brook, Cultures of Communication will be hosting guests from the cutting edge of scholarship on the study of the book to deliver public lectures and seminars on works-in-progress.  We invite all members of the SBU community—faculty, graduate students, and undergrads—to join us in this inquiry!

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, March 30, 12:30pm: Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford), Dealing with multivalent birds: the peacocks in Douce 308

Conveners: Joshua Teplitsky (History), Erika Honisch (Music History and Theory), Aurélie Vialette (Hispanic Language and Literature)

Support generously provided by the FAHSS Interdisciplinary Initiatives FundHumanities Institute at Stony Brook University, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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