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01/14/2021 12:31

PM Lecture: Public Spaces under Cover – People in the Library

Helena Rose Pressestelle
Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI)

    Virtual lecture by Ulrich Johannes Schneider in the “Carte Blanche II” series
    Tuesday, January 26th 2021, 6 p.m. via ZOOM

    Modern libraries came into existence in 1851 when architect Henri Labrouste finished the Bibliothèque St. Geneviève in Paris. The two-story structure was the first library building with a central heating system and gaslight. Its reading room was open until 10 pm and seated 400 students. The reading room of the British Museum opened in 1857 and accommodated its regulars – among them Karl Marx – with an elaborate ventilation system. In 1858, Boston followed with its new public library.

    Ever since the nineteenth century, libraries developed into social institutions, catering not only for books but also for people. From our present point of view, dedicating a specific space for reading and writing seems obvious and unimportant at the same time. However, rather than a mere engineering of space, library architecture plays a larger role in global cultural history than even library lovers might suspect.

    Ulrich Johannes Schneider, Leipzig University Library

    Stefan Höhne, Mercator Research Fellow at KWI

    Julika Griem, KWI Director
    Sabine Voßkamp, KWI Research Management

    Participants can register for the lecture via e-mail to by Monday, January 25th, 2021. Participants will then receive the Zoom link.

    Organised by the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI)

    In these pandemic times, we would like to reward ourselves and our audience with four special treats: We have asked well-known researchers from various disciplines to present and discuss their favourite lecture with us. We are looking very much forward to Sianne Ngai (University of Chicago), Carolin Meister (Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe), Ulrich Johannes Schneider (Leipzig University Library) and Massimiano Bucchi (University of Trento).

    About the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI):
    The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) Essen, Germany, is an interdisciplinary research centre following the tradition of international Institutes for Advanced Study. In its role as an inter-university institution connecting the Ruhr-University Bochum, the Technological University Dortmund and the University of Duisburg-Essen, the institute works together with researchers and scientists from its neighbouring universities as well as other partners from the federal state NRW and places in- and outside of Germany. Within the Ruhr area, the KWI is a place to share and discuss the questions and results of ambitious research with interested parties from the city and the greater region. Currently, work at the KWI focusses on the following areas: “cultural studies of science and science policy making”, “sociology of literature and culture”, “science communication”, and a “teaching lab”. Projects in the established research field “culture of communication”, as well as individual projects, will be continued.

    More information: Event on the KWI Website

    Criteria of this press release:
    Journalists, Scientists and scholars, Students, Teachers and pupils, all interested persons
    Art / design, Cultural sciences, Information technology, Language / literature, Media and communication sciences
    transregional, national
    Miscellaneous scientific news/publications


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