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About us


In its first year, the Book Initiative hosted inaugural lectures by Isabel Hofmeyr and Jill Lepore. Since then, we have co-organized transcribe-a-thons with the Colored Conventions Project and Alexander Library, sponsored graduate student field trips to area libraries and letterpresses, granted graduate student fellowships to Rare Book School, sponsored an undergraduate class in bookmaking as well as co-sponsored a rare book exhibition. Recent events include talks, bookbinding studios, and scavenger hunts with Javiera Barrientos, Jesse Erickson, Denise Gigante, Melina Moe, Heather O’Donnell, Matt Rubery, Andrew Stauffer, Corinna Zeltsman, Kari Kraus, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Tia Blassingame, Jonathan Senchyne, Priyasha Mukhopadhyay, Ryan Cordell, Christy Pottroff, Olivia Moy, Katherine Ruffin, Miles Grier, Nicholas Dames, and Isabel Duarte-Gray. As of fall 2023, the Scarlet Letterpress will be open to print student projects, dissertation and honors thesis title-pages, protest posters and more.

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Upcoming Events

Unbinding Latinidad: Book History and the Horizon of Publishable Latinidad with Isabel Duarte-Gray

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Past Events

Book Launch of Nicholas Dames’ The Chapter: A Segmented History from Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century

Nov 16, 2023 | 1-2 pm

Nicholas Dames is a specialist in the history and theory of the novel, with particular attention to the novel in Britain and on the European continent since the early nineteenth century.

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InkfaceOthello and White Authority in the Era of Atlantic Slavery

November 02, 2023 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Miles Grier is an associate professor of English at Queens College, a division of the City University of New York. This event was a lecture and Q&A about Dr, Grier’s monograph, Inkface: Othello and White Authority in the Era of Atlantic Slavery.

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Independent Publishing Perspectives from the Hispanophone World

This conference convenes editors, publishers, and writers from Latin America and Spain to participate in a multi-day, multi-university conversation on the state of independent book publishing in the Spanish-speaking world. Events will take place at Rutgers, Columbia, CUNY, and NYU, and will include a series of roundtables and discussion of current issues in literary publishing and distribution, followed by a one-day book fair. Events will be in Spanish and English, as indicated in the Conference Program.

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Panel Discussion of Denise Gigante’s Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America

Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America tells the story of bibliophilia and book collecting in mid-nineteenth-century America when the country’s major libraries were being formed.

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