Breaking the Book: Print Humanities in the Digital Age
June 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Breaking the Book is a manifesto on the cognitive consequences and emotional effects of human interactions with physical books that reveals why the traditional humanities disciplines are resistant to 'digital' humanities.
- Explores the reasons why the traditional humanities disciplines are resistant to 'digital humanities'
- Reveals facets of book history, offering it as an example of how different media shape our modes of thinking and feeling
- Gathers together the most important book history and literary criticism concerning the hundred years leading up to the early 19th-century emergence of mass print culture
- Predicts effects of the digital revolution on disciplinarity, expertise, and the institutional restructuring of the humanities
Part I Pre-Bound 1
1 Language by the Book 3
Part II Bound 69
2 Print Subjectivity, or the Case History 71
3 Distributed Reading, or the Critic Filter 103
Part III Unbound 147
Works Cited 187
Laura Mandell is Professor of English Literature and Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture at Texas A & M University. Her publications include Misogynous Economies: The Business of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1999) and a Longman Cultural Edition of The Castle of Otranto and Man of Feeling. Dr. Mandell is also Director of 18thConnect.org and General Editor of the Poetess Archive.
“Instead, Mandell reminds us of the importance and the irreplaceable value of the book, while presenting digital media as an addition to our tools as scholars, rather than as a replacement for existing tools.” (Sharp, 1 October 2015)
“Mandell’s provocative manifesto challenges us to read through the book, as both lens and double agent, to see its shaping power over scholarly practice. Breaking the Book is a vigorous call to attention, a passionate unpacking of the longstanding, complicated relationship between print culture and the humanities. Moving from Jonathan Swift to William Gibson, Mandell examines literary studies as a web of media events, and asks us to reimagine our textual condition from new ground. It is a powerful and unsettling analysis."Andrew Stauffer, University of Virginia