Faculty book celebration Nov. 7

Keynote address by Harvard historian Robert Darnton

(Credit: Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photos)

Is the printed book obsolete?

Darnton (Photo by Justin Ide/Harvard News Office)

In The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future (Public Affairs, 2010) cultural historian Robert Darnton, DPhil — a leading expert on the history of the book — explores the place of books in the digital age.

With e-readers flooding the market, and Google Books making millions of volumes available by tablet and cellphone, will the pixel replace the paper page, or can new and old find common ground and mutual advantage?

On Thursday, Nov. 7, Darnton, university librarian and Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University, will serve as keynote speaker for “Celebrating Our Books, Recognizing Our Authors,” Washington University in St. Louis’ 12th annual faculty book colloquium.

Faculty presenters

The event, organized by the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences, Washington University Libraries and the Harvard Club of St. Louis, also will feature new book presentations by two WUSTL faculty members:

Shefali Chandra, PhD, associate professor of history in Arts & Sciences, will read from The Sexual Life of English: Languages of Caste and Desire in Colonial India (Duke University Press, 2012); and


Ignacio Infante, PhD, assistant professor of comparative literature and of Spanish in Arts & Sciences, will read from After Translation: The Transfer and Circulation of Modern Poetics Across the Atlantic (Fordham University Press, 2013).

The colloquium will begin at 5 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow.

Panel discussion

In addition, at 2 p.m., Darnton will take part in a panel discussion on “Digitization, Dissemination and Preservation in a Digital Age.”

The moderator will be Chris Freeland, associate university librarian for Washington University Libraries. Other panelists include Jeffrey Trzeciak, WUSTL university librarian, and John Wilkin, dean of libraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


All events take place in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge, a short walk north of Olin Library.

Copies of all faculty books published in the last three years will be on display. Faculty books also will be displayed and available for purchase in the Washington University Campus Store.

For more information or to request a parking sticker, call (314) 935-5576 or email cenhum@wustl.edu.