Historian Speaks May 8 on Cultural Impact of Printing Press

Elizabeth Eisenstein

Elizabeth Eisenstein

Elizabeth Eisenstein’s best known book explores what she terms the “unacknowledged revolution,” the transformations that occurred after the invention of print and that aided the progress of the Protestant Reformation, the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution. The historian and Vassar alumna will expand on this subject in her talk, “When Our Old Medium Was New: Some Reactions to the Medium of Print in the Western World,” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, in Taylor Hall room 203 (seating will not be possible after 6:05 p.m.). This Curtis Lecture is free and open to the public with funding support from John and Julia Blodgett Curtis ’62.

A professor emerita at the University of Michigan, her foremost work is The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformation in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1983). Eisenstein’s historical method is credited for helping to clarify famed philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s earlier ideas about the general social effects of such media transitions, as well as influencing later thinking about the development of digital media.

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