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The Time of Books

The End of Long Form?

A recent piece on the end of paper newspapers, in this case the New Orleans’-based Times-Picayune, which got me thinking about the relationship between form and medium. One of the arguments of the piece is that the move to e-only news means a shift in content too: from long-form investigative journalism that …

The Demise of Publishing

A long and thought-provoking piece by Steve Wasserman at The Nation on the demise of publishing at the hands of Amazon. There are many causes for concern about the business model of writing that he chronicles. But ultimately I’m not sure he’s right on either count. Here’s Wasserman: Not very …

The Humanities and the Public

An event the other night at McGill called “The Public Digital Humanities” was indicative of much recent concern about the “relevance” or public mission of the humanities today (see for example the new initiative 4Humanities or the new book series by Iowa, “Humanities and Public Life”). Publicness, it seems, is …

Vestiges of Media

My friend Ina Ferris has been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between books and remnants — the way books were integral during the nineteenth century to think about how cultural forms and practices persist past their time. The book was itself already seen as a vestige during the …

Going Postal

A funny new project by Giles Turnbull who along with a few friends decided to send their Twitter posts as postcards instead of electronically. It gives a renewed vitality to the word “post.” One of the most basic things it shows is just how expensive printed communication is by comparison. …