Welcome to Book and Reading Studies at Mainz University

Book and reading studies at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz offer the entire range of the subject in research and teaching, from the early history of printing with hand presses to Bookstagram. Only in Mainz, book and reading studies involve both the theory and practice of the book, its readers, their stories and their hunger for reading. We do this in close cooperation with the book industry. The Mainz Publishers' Archive and a teaching print shop are part of Mainz Book Studies. In short, we research and teach the history of printing just as we conduct data analyses on contemporary reading worlds, discuss the aesthetics of bookmaking as well as practice it. Here you can find out more about everything that is going on in book and reading studies in Mainz:

Fellows of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation visit the Department of Book Studies

On  April 19-21, 2023  fellows of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will visit our department as part of a network conference at the Johannes Gutenberg University.

On April 20, 2023, the Department of Book and Reading Studies will host the section "German Studies, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Foreign Languages and Culture" and welcome 19 guests from 10 different nations in the Faculty Hall of Faculty 05.
In addition to the presentation of our field of work and the current research projects in book and reading studies, four scholarship holders of the AvH Foundation will give short lectures to present their research projects.

Scholarly Reading and Writing In The Age of AI and The Need for Visibility and Impact: Issues and Challenges

Scholarly reading and writing in the age of AI and the need for visibility and impact: issues and challenges is the title of a workshop (mostly in English language) funded by the Franco-German University (UFA / DFH), to which Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (D) and Claude Bernard University Lyon I (F) invited young researchers.
The workshop featured the people behind the first AI-written scholarly books took place on March, 23 and 24, 2023 at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany).

Detailed Program (latest update: March 22, 2023)

More information you will find on this page.

Mainz' Colloquium 2023

Machines write, illustrate and distribute books -
workload relief or dystopia?

The world of books has long been largely digital. But with artificial intelligence, the book industry is changing yet again.
Machines write texts, generate audio books and create translations, evaluate manuscripts and design illustrations. Marketing processes, distribution channels and media campaigns are also using algorithmic systems more and more as a matter of course. Are machines now taking command in the book world as well, or are they merely taking repetitive tasks with limited scope from us in times of a shortage of a skilled workforce?

The XXVIII. Mainzer Kolloquium will discuss the latest developments with experts from the book industry.

Friday, January 27, 2023, 10:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m.
Atrium maximum, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 5, D-55128 Mainz.

Program [German]


Lecture by Michele K. Troy on "Albatross Verlag", Dec. 6, 2022

On Tuesday, Dec. 6,2022, at 04:00 p.m., the literary scholar Michele K. Troy (University of Hartford, Connecticut/USA) will be a guest in Mainz and give a workshop report on her publication about "Albatross Verlag" in the seminar of Ute Schneider and Katharina Knorr.
Link to the portrait of the publication on DEUTSCHLANDFUNK

Please feel free to join us!
The event will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Faculty Hall, so it is worth being on time.

Winter term 2021/22: Project seminar groups work exploratively and with the help of advanced tools with extended metadata

As part of the regular project seminar for Master's students preparing for their Master's thesis, students dealt under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Christoph Bläsi in the winter semester 2021/22 on the one hand with issues surrounding extended metadata and on the other hand "instrumentally" with how to effectively process extensive unstructured data and present project results simply but "appetisingly" to fellow students and the public. The teaching project was gratefully supported by the Gutenberg Institute's Book & Reading Studies Department by funding research assistant Vanessa Möschner. Continue reading "Winter term 2021/22: Project seminar groups work exploratively and with the help of advanced tools with extended metadata"

Junior Professorship for Nikolaus Weichselbaumer

Dr. phil. Nikolaus Weichselbaumer has been Junior Professor of Book Studies at our Gutenberg Institute since the summer semester of 2022.

He studied book studies and modern German literary history in Erlangen-Nuremberg and was a research assistant in various projects before receiving his doctorate from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg under Prof. Ursula Rautenberg in 2014 with a thesis on the typographer Hermann Zapf. He was then a research assistant here in Mainz Book Studies from 2014 to 2021, before being appointed as an assistant professor in 2022.

No education without reading

According to a recent study by the Institute for School Development Research, only 72 percent of
of fourth graders can read well enough to have no difficulties in secondary school, to keep up in class.

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Lauer and Dr. Anke Vogel are researching the reasons and developing projects that actively promote reading skills.

Read the full article in the JGU magazine [in German].

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*The Future of Publishing. London College of Communication offers free Online Publishing Innovation Event on April 28

The following invitation by Anna Klamet, a colleague working partly in London and partly with us in Mainz, is also valid for students of book studies in Mainz for the event on April 28 from 17.00 on ZOOM. Also last year, Mainz students have participated in this interesting event. Continue reading "*The Future of Publishing. London College of Communication offers free Online Publishing Innovation Event on April 28"

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