The Printed Book in Contemporary American Culture

Medium, Object, Metaphor

  • Heike Schaefer
  • Alexander Starre

Part of the New Directions in Book History book series (NDBH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Heike Schaefer, Alexander Starre
      Pages 3-28
  3. The Printed Book and Formations of Knowledge in the Digital Age

  4. The Book as Commodity and Fetish

  5. Redesigning the Codex: Current Experiments in and Beyond the Book

  6. Afterword

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 253-253
    2. Garrett Stewart
      Pages 255-264
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 265-277

About this book


This essay collection explores the cultural functions the printed book performs in the digital age. It examines how the use of and attitude toward the book form have changed in light of the digital transformation of American media culture. Situated at the crossroads of American studies, literary studies, book studies, and media studies, these essays show that a sustained focus on the medial and material formats of literary communication significantly expands our accustomed ways of doing cultural studies. Addressing the changing roles of authors, publishers, and readers while covering multiple bookish formats such as artists’ books, bestselling novels, experimental fiction, and zines, this interdisciplinary volume introduces readers to current transatlantic conversations on the history and future of the printed book.


printed book digital publishing electronic publishing ebook Kindle book culture print culture literary culture digital medium

Editors and affiliations

  • Heike Schaefer
    • 1
  • Alexander Starre
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Education KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information