History of Books and Publishing (2019/2020)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Federica Formiga
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
PARTE II 3 M-STO/08-ARCHIVAL SCIENCE, BIBLIOGRAPHY AND LIBRARIANSHIP II semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) Federica Formiga

Learning outcomes

The course will analyze the book as a product of conveying ideas from the second half of the 14th century up to the present days. Techniques for building books have continually evolved, crossing with political, economic, and ultimately cultural interests. The book will be presented as an artefact, but also as a social object that over the span of decades has undergone into format and content transformations, shaping new ideas and influencing the intellectual renewal of Europe for which the publishing world still plays an essential role.  


During the course will be analyzed media, formats, writing tools, book types and different editions. The book will be considered not only as a material object, but also as a content vehicle. During the course, special attention will be paid to the publishing world and its roles in the cultural landscape, taking into account the major Italian publishers and the choices made as an industry.

Alberto Cadioli, Giuliano Vigini, Storia dell'editoria italiana dall'unità ad oggi, Milano, La Bibliografica, 2018.
Frédéric Barbier, Storia del libro in Occidente, Bari, DEdalo, 2018, pp. 105-176, 195-230, 251-269, 286-326, 381-398, 415-426.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be in written form and it will consist of 14 multiple-choice questions and of one open-ended question: the latter will be taken into consideration only if at least 9 of the multiple-choice questions will be answered correctly. The mark assigned to each correct multiple-choice answer will be two points. The open-ended answer might improve the overall mark.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Martin Davies, Neil Harris Aldo Manuzio. L'uomo, l'editore, il mito Carocci 2019
Andrea G.G, Paralisiti La totalità della parola. Origine e prospettive culturali del libro digitale Baglieri 2014
Alberto Cadioli, Giuliano Vigini Storia dell'editoria in Italia dall'unità ad oggi Editrice la bibliografica 2018
D. Baroni Un oggetto chiamato libro Longanesi 2017
Andrew Piper Il libro era lì. La lettura nell'era digitale Franco Angeli 2013 978-88-204-5665-8