Thursday Lecture: Prof Simon Franklin
When: Thu, 07.07.2022 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Where: Warburgstraße 26, 20354 Hamburg
Some Approaches to the Life-Cycle of Material Texts: From Production to the Graphosphere
Professor Dr Simon Franklin (University of Cambridge)
This lecture outlines two aspects of the life-cycle of material texts, based on research on materials from early Rus and Early Modern Russia. First it discusses a classification of writing according to the relationship of the written word to the object on which it is produced. Some objects are produced for the purpose of being written on; some are produced with writing, but not for writing; some are produced without writing and not expressly for writing, but are subsequently inscribed. The lecture summarises what is meant by this categorisation of ‘primary’, ‘secondary’ and ‘tertiary’ writing; but it also offers a critique, stressing that this schema should be regarded as a potentially useful working tool rather than as an all-encompassing theory. The second part of the lecture follows the written objects out into the world, with particular attention to the ways in which they may form, and function within, graphospheres, defined as spaces of visible words. Graphospheres are real spaces, not theoretical constructs. The local and comparative study of the dynamics of their development, of their internal ‘ecologies’ of types of writing, and of their social and cultural semantics, can help to provide insights into the broader history of information technologies in society.