New publication: Libri per diventare italiani. L’editoria per la scuola a Milano nel secondo Ottocento

We are pleased to announce the new book of a member of our network:
Elisa Marazzi, Libri per diventare italiani. L’editoria per la scuola a Milano nel secondo Ottocento. Milano: FrancoAngeli, 2014
Shaping the knowledge of the future citizens through school was one of the main aims of the Italian leading classes after the unification. Textbooks were a great ally in that sense, since they usually were the only book read by everybody. Publishers took advantage of this political and pedagogic need, as shown by this research on primary and printed sources (publishers’ catalogues). The history of the most important Milanese schoolbook publishers is presented focusing on the typical editorial strategies of the late 19th: book series and the publication of books and newspapers/journals by the same publisher. The study also reflects on the late affirmation, in Italy, of a proper children’s literature, different from educating and edifying books. Furthermore it reflects on how Milanese schoolbooks publishers, usually neglected by such studies in reason of the pedagogic tradition in Piedmont and Tuscany, were able to combine market and didactics in their work.

New publication – Reading in Russia. Practices of Reading and Literary Communication, 1760-1930

We are pleased to announce the new publication of a member of our network, Damiano Rebecchini, who has just edited with R. Vassena, the book Reading in Russia (available on open-access publication



Exhibition: « How we read? »

The exhibition « How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People » is now opened in the Peltz Gallery, Ground Floor, School of Arts, London.

This free exhibition runs from 17-23 November. Full details can be found on the website

All welcome!

“How We Read” is a free exhibition of assistive technologies designed to help blind people read. From raised print to talking books and optophones, a fascinating array of historic artefacts will be on display from museums, archives, and other centres dedicated to preserving the heritage of blindness. For the past two centuries, such devices have made reading material accessible to hundreds of thousands of visually disabled readers in Britain.

This exhibition will introduce visitors to a range of reading formats beyond the conventional book whilst encouraging reflection on the ways in which different sensory modes have been privileged at certain historical moments and by changing communities of readers. Giving the public a chance to see, hear, and touch different types of books, “How We Read” aims to expand conceptions of what it means to be human, by exploring the many ways in which we do something as simple as read a book.

A series of hands-on activities, interactive workshops, and live performances will allow visitors to try out for themselves alternative ways of reading. These include: descriptive tours led by an experienced museum curator; a workshop in which participants learn how to read Braille and other raised types using their fingertips; a panel led by visually impaired readers who will share their experiences of reading books in different media; and a live reading by a professional actor who has recorded books for people who are blind.