Lectures & Conferences

The A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography

2016 Rosenbach Lectures

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, University of Maryland

Bitstreams: The Future of Digital Literary Heritage

Lecture Dates: March 14, 15, 17, 2016
All lectures begin at 5:30pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 6th floor
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA

Monday, March 14, 2016: "The Transformissions of the Archive: Literary Remainders in the Late Age of Print"

Tuesday, March 15, 2016: "The Poetics of Macintosh: Recovering the Digital Poetry of Kamau Brathwaite and William Dickey"

Thursday, March 17, 2016: "The RESTful Book: Bibliography and Bookish Media"

Registration is requested but not required. Please RSVP HERE

3D-printed Arduino-powered replica of a Macintosh computer, model by DB Bauer
3D-printed Arduino-powered replica of a Macintosh computer running a graphical adventure game based on William Gibson's novel Neuromancer. Model by DB Bauer, University of Maryland. Used with permission..
Bitstreams proposes an assessment of the future of literary heritage--by which I mean prospects for archives, public memory, and scholarship--in the face of what Virginia Woolf, referring to an earlier era of challenges and changes in book publishing, called certain "actual facts" (Three Guineas). For Woolf these were the implications of small presses, the Banda spirit duplicator and its kin, and typewriters for book printing and distribution. For us, the actual facts at hand are the ubiquity of computers as instruments of literary composition as well as editing and book design; the distribution of books through multiple media formats and platforms (e-books, audio books, print-on-demand, and so-called "transmedia" works); the profusion of literary conversation online (authors on social media, critical commentary on blogs, and the massive store of readers' reviews and rankings on sites like Amazon or Goodreads); and finally, not least, the hybridity of the contemporary media archive, commingling printed and digital artifacts and objects, the latter variously stored on personal devices but also (increasingly) in the inaccessible reaches of the "cloud."

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH, an applied thinktank for the digital humanities). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia's Rare Book School. His most recent book, Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, will be published by Harvard University Press/Belknap Press in April 2016; with Pat Harrigan, he has also co-edited Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming for the MIT Press, a volume containing nearly seventy contributions (forthcoming March 2016). He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.

Kirschenbaum's first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, was published by the MIT Press in 2008 and won the 2009 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS), the 2009 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), and the 16th annual Prize for a First Book from the Modern Language Association (MLA). In 2010 he co-authored (with Richard Ovenden and Gabriela Redwine) Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections, a report published by the Council on Library and Information Resources and recognized with a commendation from the Society of American Archivists.

Kirschenbaum speaks and writes often on topics in the digital humanities and new media; his work has received coverage in the Atlantic, Slate, New York Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Wired, Boing Boing, Slashdot, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Follow him on Twitter as @mkirschenbaum or see http://www.mkirschenbaum.net for more.

For more information: (215) 898-7088; jpollack@upenn.edu

List of Past Rosenbach Lectures

Rosenbach Lectures as of 2007 are available through
the Penn Libraries Scholarly Commons repository.
View and download available podcasts and videos.

The Rosenbach Fellowship in Bibliography, established by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in 1928, honors a gift for that purpose from A.S.W. Rosenbach, one of America's greatest book dealers and collectors. Its intention is to further scholarship and scholarly publication in bibliography and book history, broadly understood. Rosenbach Fellows typically present a series of three lectures over a period of one to two weeks while in residence at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of a continuing commitment to the series by the University of Pennsylvania Press, many of these lectures have been published as book-length studies.

The Rosenbach Lectures are the longest continuing series of bibliographical lectureships in the United States. The series began in 1931, with Christopher Morley as the first Rosenbach Fellow. Over the years, lecture topics have included fifteenth-century printing, the relationships between print and manuscript, papermaking, book illustration, American reading and publishing, and medical and scientific texts. Among recent lecturers are Robert Darnton, Anthony Grafton, Peter Stallybrass, David D. Hall, Paul Saenger, Michael Warner, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, Alberto Manguel, and Paul Needham.

A.S.W. Rosenbach
Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, 1939
Courtesy of Rosenbach Museum
& Library