Book Cultures

The aim of this series is to provide an expert outlet for short scholarly works focused on the handmade book as an object and cultures that emerge around it – both in the past and present. While the concept is firmly rooted in the idea of the manuscript, the series aims to explore the handmade book as a medium in its own right, transcending easy periodization boundaries. Seen as a medium capable of functioning as an axis of various cultures, the handmade book will allow for forays not bound to the Eurocentric notion of the medieval. This shift of focus allows for both a global perspective and innovative comparisons.

The focus on materiality will allow authors to explore topics of manual labor, cultural critique, and the social contexts of books. This in turn will enable conversations on the importance of premodern and modern book cultures to the understanding of our own digital world. This means that the series will be open not only to medievalists or manuscripts scholars but also to librarians, artists, digitization specialists or media researchers interested in taking the handmade book as a focus or point of departure for their work. This kind of cross-discipline and cross-epoch investigation will make the series unique in its approach. From digital afterlives to analogue precedents the series will help to highlight the continued relevance of premodern book studies, and particularly, perhaps, of the premodern to modern practices of textual production. We also hope that this format will open a forum for the marginalized in book scholarship to be centered, by offering a platform to voices, topics and locales not usually amplified.

The length of books will be limited to 50k words, and each volume will be preceded by a preface written by one of the editors, allowing for the series to be seen as a coherent whole.


Geographical scopeGlobal
Chronological scopeThe earliest book cultures to present times
Keywordsbook production, manuscript, handmade books, artists’ books, media, textual cultures, old media, objects of communication

Editorial Contact

Anna Henderson –  [email protected]

Series Editors 

Prof. Elaine Treharne

Stanford University

[email protected]

Dr. Mateusz Fafinski

Freie Universität Berlin

[email protected]

Dr. Bonnie Mak

University of Illinois

[email protected]