Exhibition Examines the Evolution of the Book and Writing Surfaces

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Media Contact: | | September 18, 2002

WHO: Penn Humanities Forum

WHAT: An exhibition and panel discussion on the history of books and writing surfaces

WHERE: Rosenwald Gallery, 6th Floor, University of Pennsylvania Library, 3420 Walnut St.

WHEN: Sept. 22, 2002, 2-4 p.m.

PANEL: Peter Stallybrass of English, Shane Butler of Classical Studies and Millicent Marcus of Italian Studies discuss what it means to call something a book

Launching the Year of the Book, this special University of Pennsylvania Library exhibition offers an encyclopedic tour of the various surfaces human beings have used to communicate meaning. A panel of Penn faculty--Peter Stallybrass of English, Shane Butler of Classical Studies and Millicent Marcus of Italian Studies--opens the exhibition with a discussion of what it means to call something a book.

The Penn Humanities Forum has dedicated its 2002-2003 lectures, seminars and exhibitions to the topic of "The Book," perhaps the greatest textual communications technology ever invented. Throughout much of the world, the book changed the face of culture, its dominance holding for half a millennium. But now, with the emergence of strikingly new means of textual transmission, the era of the book may be over. Participants will examine the complicated impact of the book and its influence on the electronic media that threaten to supersede it.