media, information, the contemporary

Books in the Biosphere: Lecture by Isabel Hofmeyr

Date and Time: 5 December, 2023 at 5:00pm. 

Location: Seminar Room, CSDS, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi

Nearest Metro Station: Civil Lines



Isabel Hofmeyr will deliver the 24th B. N. Ganguli Memorial Lecture on ‘Books in the Biosphere: Print Culture in the Anthropocene’. It will be chaired by Ravi Sundaram.

Like disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, studies of print media and book history are grappling with how to address the monumental challenges of the Anthropocene. How does one put together the dry technology of the book with floods and rising sea levels? The speaker builds on her recent book Dockside Reading, to relocate print culture in an ecosystem of plants, animals, minerals, water, soil and air – or in a word, the biosphere. The lecture explores these themes through three cases: Books in the Elements, Insects and Colonial Archives and Print, Plants and African Healers.

Isabel Hofmeyr is Professor Emeritus at Wits University, Johannesburg and was Global Distinguished Professor at New York University from 2013 to 2022. Recent publications include Dockside Reading: Hydrocolonialism and the Custom House (2022) and a co-edited special issue on “Reading for Water” in Interventions 24 (3) 2022.

Ravi Sundaram is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.