General Information

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:

Postponed to April 26: Mainz Colloquium 2024

The colloquium had to be postponed due to the strike of Deutsche Bahn to a new date in April!

"Auctioned, sold off, disposed of? Analyses of the market for used books"

The XXIX. Mainz Colloquium discusses developments with experts from the book industry.

Friday, April 26, 2024
Atrium maximum, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Excursion to Munich "Forbidden Books"

On 19 and 20 January 2024, we went on an excursion to Munich to explore the topic  'Literature under the conditions of censorship and dictatorship' - a topic that is especially significant in our time, in which a strengthening of illiberal tendencies can be observed and in which books are increasingly being banned, prohibited and burned again in more than a few countries and authors are being ostracised and persecuted for political, moral or religious reasons. Continue reading "Excursion to Munich "Forbidden Books""

Master’s students prove their research talent with the conference "Young People, Young Mainz".

As a result of the Master's seminar "Presentation of ongoing research projects", the students proved their professional and organisational skills and their ability to work in a team on 14 July . At the self-planned symposium under the motto "Young People, Young Mainz", the students presented in-depth and relevant topics in each of ten lectures in the three sections Internationalisation, Diversity and Awareness, and Mediality. more

Coming Soon: "Fandomverse 2023 – The Science Behind Fan Culture"

Are you interested in fan culture or are you a fan yourself? You want to know if fandom can be researched scientifically and how to do it? Or you've never heard of  anything like a "fandomverse"?

"Fandomverse - The Science Behind Fan Culture" is coming soon!

On November 7, 2023, we will meet with speakers from the book industry and the "fandomverse".

Info page and registration

The Gutenberg Yearbook 2023 is here!

The  Gutenberg year book 2023 has been published!

Traditionally, the Yearbook is published on St. John's Eve (24 June) - and this year is no exception. It features contributions on the history of printing, edited by Philip Ajouri, Julia Bangert, Gerhard Lauer and Nikolaus Weichselbaumer. Continue reading "The Gutenberg Yearbook 2023 is here!"

Talk and Reading with Witi Ihimaera “The Whale Rider”

Witi Ihimaera – Maori Novelist and Indigenous Envoy: Writing to the World

Witi Ihimaera was our guest this week at the Johannes Gutenberg-University!
On Monday, July 3, 2023, he had been festively welcomed at 01:00 p.m. in the courtyard of our conservatoire (music department) by the vice-president Prof. Dr. Stephan Jolie.

The radio programme „Journal am Mittag“ on SWR2 (04.07.23, 12.33-13.00) has published a podcast on July 4, 2023 featuring this event.

Continue reading "Talk and Reading with Witi Ihimaera “The Whale Rider”"

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.