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:

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) invite young researchers.
The workshop featuring the people behind the first AI-written scholarly books will take place on March, 23 and 24, 2023 at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany).

Please register here: Registration

Detailed Program (latest update: March 23, 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.

Birthday wishes for Prof. Dr. Stephan Füssel

Prof. Dr. Stephan Füssel celebrates his 70th birthday on March 24, 2022. Mainz Book Studies offers its warmest congratulations. Ad multos annos!

Article by Prof. Dr. Corinna Norrick-Rühl (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) in today's issue 12/2022 of Börsenblatt des Deutschen Buchhandels
(with the kind permission of the editors)