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Matter matters : material communication and the role of book history in the curriculum of publishing studies

Lundblad, Kristina LU (2015) By the Book 2: Books and Reading in an Age of Media Overload
Abstract
Books and other printed matter are media of communication, used to carry and distribute –

mediate – "content". A medium, however, is always material, and as such it produces

meaning in its own right. So even though content and medium might be separate and distinct

entities, they are intimately connected, and in order to be communicated a piece of "content"

is always given one or another material form. This form, whichever it may be, adds meaning

to the actual content – it becomes part of it.

In publishing this relation, that is fundamentally an epistemological one, rarely seems to be

acknowledged. The overlook becomes especially apparent in the belief that the e-book... (More)
Books and other printed matter are media of communication, used to carry and distribute –

mediate – "content". A medium, however, is always material, and as such it produces

meaning in its own right. So even though content and medium might be separate and distinct

entities, they are intimately connected, and in order to be communicated a piece of "content"

is always given one or another material form. This form, whichever it may be, adds meaning

to the actual content – it becomes part of it.

In publishing this relation, that is fundamentally an epistemological one, rarely seems to be

acknowledged. The overlook becomes especially apparent in the belief that the e-book can

substitute the printed book whereas the two forms of mediation are exactly two – distinct, and

representing different modi. For students within publishing studies digital publishing has

made knowledge of the meaning of materiality, and of the history of the book and of the book

market more acute than ever. Digital publishing might increase the size of an edition (a

concept diluted in digital environments) but it decreases the publisher’s possibilities to use

form and materiality as an important aspect of communication and as part of the business

concept. At the same time, digital publishing faces the publisher with a completely new range

of challenges, challenges that show that digital documents are made up of a far more heavy

kind of materiality than analogue ones.

The paper will address questions on how the form and materiality of both analogue and

digital documents produce meaning, why this is an important issue to discuss within the field

of publishing studies, and what the history of the book can learn us about the future of it. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
publishing, book history, publishing studies
categories
Higher Education
conference name
By the Book 2: Books and Reading in an Age of Media Overload
project
Aspects of the Book. Books and Literature between Economics and Aesthetics 1750–2002
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c920ce18-0e9c-403e-8df8-1ba2c9260b07 (old id 8768702)
date added to LUP
2016-02-23 08:21:47
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:24:18
@misc{c920ce18-0e9c-403e-8df8-1ba2c9260b07,
  abstract     = {Books and other printed matter are media of communication, used to carry and distribute –<br/><br>
mediate – "content". A medium, however, is always material, and as such it produces<br/><br>
meaning in its own right. So even though content and medium might be separate and distinct<br/><br>
entities, they are intimately connected, and in order to be communicated a piece of "content"<br/><br>
is always given one or another material form. This form, whichever it may be, adds meaning<br/><br>
to the actual content – it becomes part of it.<br/><br>
In publishing this relation, that is fundamentally an epistemological one, rarely seems to be<br/><br>
acknowledged. The overlook becomes especially apparent in the belief that the e-book can<br/><br>
substitute the printed book whereas the two forms of mediation are exactly two – distinct, and<br/><br>
representing different modi. For students within publishing studies digital publishing has<br/><br>
made knowledge of the meaning of materiality, and of the history of the book and of the book<br/><br>
market more acute than ever. Digital publishing might increase the size of an edition (a<br/><br>
concept diluted in digital environments) but it decreases the publisher’s possibilities to use<br/><br>
form and materiality as an important aspect of communication and as part of the business<br/><br>
concept. At the same time, digital publishing faces the publisher with a completely new range<br/><br>
of challenges, challenges that show that digital documents are made up of a far more heavy<br/><br>
kind of materiality than analogue ones.<br/><br>
The paper will address questions on how the form and materiality of both analogue and<br/><br>
digital documents produce meaning, why this is an important issue to discuss within the field<br/><br>
of publishing studies, and what the history of the book can learn us about the future of it.},
  author       = {Lundblad, Kristina},
  keyword      = {publishing,book history,publishing studies},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Matter matters : material communication and the role of book history in the curriculum of publishing studies},
  year         = {2015},
}