Author: Young Kyun Oh
In Engraving Virtue, Young Kyun Oh investigates the publishing history of the Samgang Haengsil-to (Illustrated Guide to the Three Relations), a moral primer of Chosŏn (1392–1910), and traces the ways in which woodblock printed books contributed to shaping premodern Korea.
Originally conceived by the court as a book with which to instill in its society Confucian ethics encased in the stories of moral heroes and heroines as filial sons, loyal subjects, and devoted wives, the Samgang Haengsil-to embodies various aspects of Chosŏn society. With careful examinations of its various editions and historical documents, Oh presents how the life of this book reflected the complicated factors of the Chosŏn society and how it became more than just a reading material.
In Archaeology of Tibetan Books, Agnieszka Helman-Ważny explores the varieties of artistic expression, materials, and tools that have shaped Tibetan books over the millennia. Digging into the history of the bookmaking craft, the author approaches these ancient texts primarily through the lens of their artistry, while simultaneously showing them as physical objects embedded in pragmatic, economic, and social frameworks. She provides analyses of several significant Tibetan books—which usually carry Buddhist teachings—including a selection of manuscripts from Dunhuang from the 1st millennium C.E., examples of illuminated manuscripts from Western and Central Tibet dating from the 15th century, and fragments of printed Tibetan Kanjurs from as early as 1410. This detailed study of bookmaking sheds new light on the books' philosophical meanings.
In Tibetan Printing: Comparisons, Continuities and Change the editors publish the results of the workshop “Printing as an Agent of Change in Tibet and beyond” held at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in November 2013. This is the first study of the social and cultural history of Tibetan book technology that takes materials, living traditions and cross-cultural comparisons into consideration. Bringing together leading experts from different disciplines, it discusses the introduction of printing in Tibetan societies in the context of Asian book cultures with an eye to the questions raised by the study of the European history of printing. This title is available online in its entirety in Open Access.
Contributors are: Tim Barrett, Alessandro Boesi, Peter Burke, Michela Clemente, Hildegard Diemberger, Dorje Gyeltsen, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Helmut Eimer, Johan Elverskog, Camillo Formigatti, Imre Galambos, Agnieszka Helman-Wazny, Tomasz Wazny, Sherab Sangpo Kawa, Peter Kornicki, Leonard van der Kuijp, Stefan Larsson, Ben Nourse, Anuradha Pallipurath, Porong Dawa, Paola Ricciardi, Tsering Dawa Sharshon, Sam van Schaik, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, Marta Sernesi, Pasang Wangdu.
Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok discusses aspects of the long and impressive manuscript traditions of these islands, which share many aspects of manuscript production. Many hitherto unaddressed features of palm-leaf manuscripts are discussed here for the first time as well as elements of poetic texts, indications of mistakes, colophons and the calendrical information used in these manuscripts. All features discussed are explained with photographs. The introductory chapters offer insights into these traditions in a wider setting and the way researchers have studied them. This original and pioneering work also points out what topics needs further exploration to understand these manuscript traditions that use a variety of materials, languages, and scripts to a wider public.
New Perspectives on Composition, Dating, and Authorship
Volume Editors: Michael Hunter and Martin Kern
Edited by Michael Hunter and Martin Kern and featuring contributions by preeminent scholars of early China, Confucius and the Analects Revisited: New Perspectives on Composition, Dating, and Authorship critically examines the long-standing debates surrounding the history of the Analects, for two millennia considered the most authoritative source of the teachings of Confucius (551–479 BCE). Unlike most previous scholarship, it does not take the traditional view of the Analects’ origins as given. Instead, it explores the validity and the implications of recent revisionist critiques from historical, philosophical, and literary perspectives, and further draws on recently discovered ancient manuscripts and new technological advances in the Digital Humanities. As such, it opens up new ways for productive engagement with the text.
Contributors: Mark Csikszentmihalyi, Paul van Els, Robert Eno, Joachim Gentz, Paul R. Goldin, Michael Hunter, Martin Kern, Esther Klein, John Makeham, Matthias L. Richter.
Author: Samarpita Mitra
In Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Samarpita Mitra studies literary periodicals as a particular print form, and reveals how their production and circulation were critical to the formation of a Bengali public sphere during the turn of the twentieth century. Given its polyphonic nature, capacity for sustaining debates and adaptability by readers with diverse reading competencies, periodicals became the preferred means for dispensing modern education and entertainment through the vernacular. The book interrogates some of the defining debates that shaped readers’ perspectives on critical social issues and explains how literary culture was envisioned as an indicator of the emergent nation. Finally it looks at the Bengali-Muslim and women’s periodicals and their readerships and argues that the presence of multiple literary voices make it impossible to speak of Bengali literary culture in any singular terms.
Codicological and Historical Studies of an Archaeological Find in Mustang, Nepal
In 2008, an international team of climbers discovered a large collection of Tibetan manuscripts in a cave complex called Mardzong, in Nepal’s remote Mustang district. The following year, the entire cache—over five thousand folios from some sixty different works of the Buddhist and Bön religions, some more than seven centuries old—were removed to the safe keeping of a monastery, where they were later examined by experts from different disciplines. This book is the result of their findings. The authors present what they have been able to discover about the content of these manuscripts, their age, the materials with which they were made, the patrons who commissioned them and the scribes and artists who created them.

Contributors include: Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, Charles Ramble, Nyima Drandul Gurung, Naljor Tsering, Sarah Skumanov, Emilie Arnaud-Nguyen and Bazhen Zeren
Digital Writing, Digital Scriptures
Author: Claire Clivaz
Ecritures digitales aims to demonstrate how digital writing contributes to the emergence of “a new relationship between the human body and the machine” as Jacques Derrida proposed when he considered the effects of new technologies. This reconfigured relationship, not surprisingly, is also influencing the digital future of the Jewish-Christian textual corpus referred to as “the Scriptures”. The French title brings together this duality in one expression: Ecritures digitales. The English subtitle makes explicit the double meaning of the unique French word Ecritures: Digital writing, digital Scriptures. With a full French version and an abbreviated English version, this monograph analyzes the main challenges and opportunities for both writing and the Scriptures in the transition to digital culture. Ecritures digitales souhaite démontrer de quelle manière l’écriture digitale contribue à l’émergence d’une « nouvelle relation du corps humain aux machines », selon le diagnostique posé par Jacques Derrida à propos des effets des nouvelles technologies. Cette relation innovante influence également l’avenir numérique du corpus textuel judéo-chrétien désigné comme «les Ecritures». Le titre français rassemble en une seule expression ces deux thématiques: Ecritures digitales. Le sous-titre anglais rend sa double signification explicite: Digital writing, digital Scriptures. Avec une version française complète et une version anglaise brève, cette monographie analyse les principaux défis des métamorphoses digitales de l’écriture et des Ecritures.
Die Grenzen alttestamentlicher Redaktionsgeschichte im Lichte empirischer Evidenz
Author: Benjamin Ziemer
Mit seiner bahnbrechenden preisgekrönten Kritik des Wachstumsmodells plädiert Benjamin Ziemer für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der alttestamentlichen Literaturgeschichte. Er untersucht in detaillierten Einzelstudien einen repräsentativen Katalog empirischer Beispiele für Redaktion, vom Gilgamesch-Epos über das ägyptische Totenbuch bis hin zu biblischen Büchern (Chronik, Jeremia, Daniel, Esther) und Qumranschriften (Tempelrolle, Sektenregel). Er zeigt, dass die durch Textvergleich nachweisbaren Redaktoren ihre Vorlagen nie nur durch Neues erweitert, sondern immer auch zugleich Formulierungen angepasst oder vervielfältigt, heterogenes Material eingearbeitet oder eine kürzende Auswahl getroffen haben. Bislang dominieren im kontinentaleuropäischen Forschungskontext Fortschreibungs- und Ergänzungshypothesen, nach denen man ein beliebiges Textelement nur der richtigen Entstehungsschicht zuweisen müsse, um seinen ursprünglichen literarischen Kontext wiederherstellen zu können. Dieses Modell stufenweisen »literarischen Wachstums« ist, so Ziemer, wissenschaftlich nicht mehr haltbar.


With his groundbreaking award-winnig study Kritik des Wachstumsmodells, Benjamin Ziemer is arguing for a change of paradigm in Old Testament literary criticism. He examines a representative list of empirical examples of editorial processes, including the Gilgamesh Epic, the Book of the Dead, books of the Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls. He shows that redactors who can be identified by external evidence never confined themselves to adding new material. Rather, they simultaneously adjusted or duplicated parts of the text, incorporated material from elsewhere or shortened their source texts. Until now, the bulk of redaction critical studies in Europe adhere to the presupposition of textual or literary »growth« – assuming that multiple previous layers are to be found intact in the final texts. With Ziemer’s study, this model of growth is no longer tenable.
Suzanne Karr Schmidt's Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance tells the story of a hands-on genre of prints: how innovative paper engineering redefined the relationship of early modern viewers to art, humanism, and science.
Interactive and sculptural prints pervaded the European reading market of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Single sheets and book illustrations featured movable flaps and dials, and functioned as kits to build three-dimensional scientific instruments. These hybrid constructions—part text, part image, and part sculpture—engaged readers; so did the polemical, satirical, and, occasionally, erotic content. By manipulating dials and flaps, or building and using the instruments, viewers learned to think through images as well as words, interacting visually with desires, social critique, and knowledge itself.