The Printed Book, Contemporary Media Culture, and American Studies

  • Heike Schaefer
  • Alexander Starre
Part of the New Directions in Book History book series (NDBH)


In contemporary media culture, the printed book is no longer a medium of necessity; it is a medium of choice. Rather than become obsolete in the presence of digital and electronic media, as some have predicted, the codex has reinvented itself as an innovative storytelling medium in the wake of the digitization of writing, publishing, and reading. This introduction surveys recent literary, artistic, and critical discourses surrounding the printed book in the digital age, with a specific focus on North American cultural contexts and on scholarship in American studies and book history. It stakes out the disciplinary and methodological concerns of this volume, arguing for a media-focused critical approach that considers the materialities of print and digital literature to create more complex accounts of the book’s cultural agency.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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