Please join us for our next IM Public Lecture<>. No RSVP required.

Why the Book is by Definition Better than the Film: The Utopian Significance of the Printing Press

Dr. Kevin Absillis
University of Antwerp

Lecture Details
Tuesday, November 4th from 1:00pm-2:00pm
Room 3089, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Avenue


It is remarkable that all major early modern utopias - from Thomas More's Utopia (1516), to Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1624) and Tommaso Campanella's The City of the Sun (1623) - explicitly pay tribute to the invention of the printing press. At least as remarkable is the fact that in 20th century dystopic fiction the destruction of books and the decline of the printing press are a crucial part of the nightmare they represent. One immediately thinks of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and, perhaps, of E.M. Forster's short story 'The Machine Stops' (1909). This very motive is also taken up in a fair number of movies, e.g. Rollerball (1975, dir. N. Jewison), Minority Report (2002, dir. S. Spielberg), Equilibrium (2002, dir. K. Wimmer), V for Vendetta (2006, dir. J. McTeigh), The Book of Eli (2010, dir. Hughes Brothers). In my talk I will investigate this topical relationship between the printing press/books and utopian fiction in order to assess a by no means purely 'fictitious' fear that our so-called Gutenberg Galaxy is currently coming to an end.

Kim Humes, BPR
Administrative Assistant
School of Information Management
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Suite 4010
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Tel: 902.494.3656
Fax: 902.494.2451
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