‘Object Lessons’ book series comes to WashU

Call for proposals for 100th volume

Object Lessons,” the long-running series of pocket-sized books that explores the secret lives of ordinary things, is now based in the Program in Public Scholarship in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Bogost (left) and Schaberg

Published by Bloomsbury Academic, the series was founded in 2013 by editors Ian Bogost, now the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences and a professor of computer science and engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering; and by Christopher Schaberg, who came to WashU this summer as director of public scholarship.

To date, 90 books, on topics ranging from bicycles, bread and bulletproof vests to rust, socks, traffic and trees, have been published under the “Object Lessons” banner, with several more under contract. Each volume begins with a specific inspiration — a historical event, a literary passage, a personal narrative, a technological innovation — and from that starting point explores the object of the title, gleaning a singular lesson or multiple lessons along the way.

To mark the series’ 100th volume, “Object Lessons” has issued an open call for submissions. Proposals are due Oct. 31. A full draft manuscript would be due six to eight months after contract. For more information, visit Bloomsbury.com.

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