University of Wisconsin–Madison

Book Series

The Print and Digital Culture Series at the University of Wisconsin Press.

Recent Titles

Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent since 1865, edited by James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, and James P. Danky, UW Press, April 2015
A book cover featuring two children and a 20-something man reading alternative press newspapers.

The use of print to challenge prevailing ideas and conventions has a long history in American public life. As dissenters in America sought social change, they used print to document, articulate, and disseminate their ideas to others. Protest always begins on the margins, but print is the medium that allows it to reach a larger audience. In Protest on the Page, scholars in multiple disciplines offer ten original essays that examine protest print culture in America since 1865. They explore the surprising range of dissidents who enlisted print in their causes—from vegetarians and anarchists at the advent of the twentieth century, to midcentury evangelicals and tween comic book readers, to GIs and feminists in the 1970s–’80s. Together they demonstrate that print has never been a neutral medium, but rather has been instrumental in shaping the substance of protest and its audiences.

  • Review in the Wisconsin State Journal
  • Review in The Progressive, August 2015
  • Review in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January 2016

Libraries and the Reading Public in Twentieth-Century America, edited by Christine Pawley and Louise S. Robbins, UW Press, August 2013
Book cover featuring several children reading and interacting in a school library. The photo is black and white, and looks to be of a scene in the early twentieth century.

For well over one hundred years, libraries open to the public have played a crucial part in fostering in Americans the skills and habits of reading and writing, by routinely providing access to standard forms of print: informational genres such as newspapers, pamphlets, textbooks, and other reference books, and literary genres including poetry, plays, and novels. Public libraries continue to have an extraordinary impact; in the early twenty-first century, the American Library Association reports that there are more public library branches than McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. Much has been written about libraries from professional and managerial points of view, but less so from the perspectives of those most intimately involved—patrons and librarians.

Drawing on circulation records, patron reviews, and other archived materials, Libraries and the Reading Public in Twentieth-Century America underscores the evolving roles that libraries have played in the lives of American readers. Each essay in this collection examines a historical circumstance related to reading in libraries. The essays are organized in sections on methods of researching the history of reading in libraries; immigrants and localities; censorship issues; and the role of libraries in providing access to alternative, non-mainstream publications. The volume shows public libraries as living spaces where individuals and groups with diverse backgrounds, needs, and desires encountered and used a great variety of texts, images, and other media throughout the twentieth century.


 

Science in Print: Essays on the History of Science and the Culture of Print, edited by Rima D. Apple, Gregory J. Downey, and Steven L. Vaughn, UW Press, July 2012
A book cover that is mostly white with black text indicating title. A small oval inset at center looks onto an open nineteenth-century text with a technical drawing of a mechanical device.

Ever since the threads of seventeenth-century natural philosophy began to coalesce into an understanding of the natural world, printed artifacts such as laboratory notebooks, research journals, college textbooks, and popular paperbacks have been instrumental to the development of what we think of today as “science.” But just as the history of science involves more than recording discoveries, so too does the study of print culture extend beyond the mere cataloguing of books. In both disciplines, researchers attempt to comprehend how social structures of power, reputation, and meaning permeate both the written record and the intellectual scaffolding through which scientific debate takes place.

Science in Print brings together scholars from the fields of print culture, environmental history, science and technology studies, medical history, and library and information studies. This ambitious volume paints a rich picture of those tools and techniques of printing, publishing, and reading that shaped the ideas and practices that grew into modern science, from the days of the Royal Society of London in the late 1600s to the beginning of the modern U.S. environmental movement in the early 1960s.

  • Review of Science in Print in the September 2013 issue of Isis
  • Review of Science in Print and Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America in Information and Culture
  • Review of Science in Print from the Fall 2012 issue of Wisconsin People and Ideas.