To register for this Spring’s panel discussions, please follow the links below:

Wednesday, March 31, 4:45-6:15 pm (EST):  Dennis Duncan, Gill Partington, and Adam Smyth, as the representatives of 39 Step Press, in conversation with Bonnie Mak.  Please register here.

Wednesday, April 7, 4:45-6:15 pm (EST):  Tia Blassingame, in conversation with Jesse Meyer.  Please register here.

Our Participants

Each of our participants brings an original and incisive critical voice to their work as book historians. We are thrilled that they have accepted our invitation to take part, and know that you will be as excited as we are to see the project unfold over the year.   The program’s participants include:

39 Step Press, represented by members Dennis Duncan, Gill Partington, and Adam Smyth.  In their own words: “We are a group of academics interested in the history of the printed page. In 2015 we bought a wrought iron Model 4 letterpress printer and founded 39 Step Press. Since then -  both collectively and individually - we’ve been doing practical research on the quirks and distinctiveness of print, on what can go wrong and the effects that produces. We are all interested - in different ways - in the errors and accidental substitutions that creep into typesetting, and the glitches, inky smudges and blanks that printers usually try to avoid.”

Tia Blassingame: A book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception, Tia Blassingame often incorporates archival research and her own poetry in her artist’s book projects for nuanced discussions of racism in the United States. In 2019, Blassingame founded the Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color collective to bring Book History and Print Culture scholars into conversation and collaboration with BIPOC book artists, papermakers, curators, letterpress printers, printmakers for building community and support systems. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Scripps College and serves as the Director of Scripps College Press, an experimental letterpress and bookbinding laboratory.

Bonnie Mak is an associate professor at the University of Illinois, with appointments in the School of Information Sciences, History, and Medieval Studies. She studies the production and circulation of knowledge, with a particular focus on visualization practices from antiquity to today.

Jesse Meyer is president of Pergamena, in Montgomery, NY. He has been producing animal skin parchment material and researching the process since he began working at the Meyer family tannery after receiving his BFA fine arts degree. He is fascinated by the large and subtle range of qualities that can be elicited from animal skins.

Each participant has been invited to write an essay and to create an archive of that text.  The essays will be published as a series of chapbooks; each participant’s essay and archive will be added to the Beinecke Library’s permanent collections.   

Please follow us here on the website or on twitter (@yalebookhistory) for updates and further information on the program over the Spring semester.