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Join the Open University History of Books and Reading (HOBAR) collaboration to celebrate the launch of two highly relevant and ground-breaking publications examining the various cultural practices around bookshelves during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Both publications bring together cutting-edge research on the material and digital cultures around bookshelves during the current pandemic. Bringing together researchers working in book history, literary criticism, social sciences, media studies and library studies as well as voices from students, these two publications constitute the first detailed interrogation of how and why bookshelves became a space for cultural contestation in the digital sphere during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These two publications emerged from the ‘Bookshelves in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic’ conference, 3-4 November 2020, hosted online by The Open University and with the support of SHARP (The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing).

This book launch event is sponsored by The Open University’s History of Books and Reading (HOBAR) research collaboration, which is based in the department of English & Creative Writing, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). We would like to thank The Open University for financial support for the two publications and the launch event.

Event speakers:

Dr Sally Blackburn-Daniels (   
Dr Edmund King (   
Prof Corinna Norrick-Rühl (   
Dr Shafquat Towheed ( – event lead

Unless stated otherwise, all our events are free of charge and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend. Registration is required for all events. Please sign up using the booking form below.