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Holding History in the Bay Area

Holding History in the News

Makenning “prompted me to ask new questions about how books are made and used, both now and in the past.”

Holding History's fundamental ideas continue to inspire new audiences. In an essay for Contingent Magazine, UC-Davis Ph.D. student Breanne Weber documents the experience of visiting various bookmaking and printing spaces in and around the San Francisco area; she credits HH Co-Director Joshua Calhoun for inspiring her to get her hands inky.

Exploring presses, museums, and archives that continue to operate in the Bay Area, Weber demonstrates how hands-on practice and place-based research help to ground theoretical work on the literary and material history of book objects. As Weber observes, she was influenced by the ways that Calhoun's scholarship "on early modern paper is shaped by his own practice of what he calls “makenning”—the playful, exploratory, and expressive process of making to know. In the tactile process of making a book, we engage firsthand in the networks of people, plants, environments, and objects that must come together in order to produce it."

Read Weber’s full essay via Contingent Magazine. For more on “makenning,” check out Joshua Calhoun’s book launch talk for The Nature of the Page where he tells American Player Theatre’s Sarah Day about the book’s inspiration and how making drives his research. The Nature of the Page is available from the University of Pennsylvania Press; HH subscribers enjoy 20% off with code PP20.

For an example of how Holding History emphasizes hands-on work, enjoy our production, “Hand & Paper” from 2015.

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