A dynamic view of book history

In the space of barely two decades, the history of the book has become a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary and international field of study. Today, this field of research has achieved a high degree of theoretical sophistication and is beginning to reflect on its own practice. 

The Équipe de recherche Interactions avec l'imprimé (Interacting With Print Group), directed by Tom Mole from Université McGill, is devoted to the study of European print culture in the period 1700-1900, a period that saw the development of mass media. In particular, the group takes aim at three persistent myths about print culture: "Print displaced other communications media", "Print is only for writing or engraving" and "Print culture is national culture". 

To address these three myths, the group is structuring its research activities along three axes of research: how people interacted with printed matter; how printed texts and images interacted with other non-print media; and how people in the 18th and 19th centuries used printed matter to structure and mediate interactions with other people, especially on an international level. 

The research group organized a Memorial Lecture by Garrett Stewart, from the University of Iowa, on the topic of works of art inspired by books, which profoundly alter our understanding of the meaning of both the book and the work of art. The team's first research axis will be the subject of a workshop to be held at McGill University in March 2011, with eight speakers from Canada, the United States and Europe.


Équipe de recherche Interactions avec l'imprimé


Tom Mole, Université McGill

Regular members

  • Susan Dalton, Université de Montréal 
  • Andrew Piper, Université McGill 
  • Richard Taws, Université McGill 
  • Nikola Von Merveldt, Université de Montréal