This year’s Humanities Symposium, which took place from Feb. 20-25, was centered on the theme “The Transforming Book.” This topic proved apropos in an era when there is uncertainty about the future of the printed book as we know it.
Throughout the week, various faculty and student panels and colloquia explored the transforming and transformational role the book has played and continues to play. There were presentations on subjects ranging from Don Quixote to six-year-olds’ interactions with e-books.
The week’s most anticipated event was the symposium keynote address. On Feb. 23, Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History and the Chairperson of the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University, delivered the symposium keynote address, entitled, “The Book: Its Future and its Past.” He began his lecture by quoting the first sentences of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, emphasizing that at this point in the history of book, we “are going straight to heaven and straight the other way” in terms of the future of the book. (more…)