NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers

Dates: June 18 - July 13, 2018
Location: Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT
Application Deadline: March 1, 2018 (notification date: March 28, 2018)
Stipend: $3,300

The Book: Material Histories and Digital Futures will explore how the book’s evolving material qualities promote and circulate cultural knowledge. As Nicole Howard, in The Book: The Life Story of a Technology, writes, “No other technology in human history has had the impact of [the book].” In addition to looking at the history of the book, we will also consider the present moment of the book’s evolution as a prologue to humanist innovation, as developing technologies, digital and multimodal, offer a host of new forms and distribution channels. We will explore how transformations in the book can change interactions between bodies of knowledge and individual human bodies. The four-week Institute will take place June 18 to July 13, 2018 at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).

The Institute will consider the history of the book from material and embodied perspectives, studying how new and old forms of book technology and circulation impact the creation of and access to humanities scholarship and knowledge. The Institute’s activities will be hosted in the SLCC Publication Center, a multi-function space designed to enhance learning about the publication and circulation of print and digital documents. The Publication Center features a digital design lab and a print production room, with high-performance printers, various equipment for binding and hand-built book creation, and an etching press.

The Institute will offer college faculty who teach primarily undergraduates an immersive learning experience, with ideas, practices and projects that can be transferred directly to the classroom. Through the study of significant texts, interaction with notable visiting scholars, and historically contextualized book production, Institute participants will have multiple opportunities to broaden and deepen their understanding of the book’s history and future and to develop experiential teaching models. Historian Robert Darnton has described the history of the book and reading as “one of the most vital fields in the humanities.” Participants will be able to apply the scholarly and practical knowledge gained through the Institute to humanities teaching in multiple contexts: the classroom, scholarly publishing, student literary magazines, digital humanities projects, small-scale publishing projects, and more.

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