Books and the Human, AHRC 10th Anniversary Debate


16 Dec 2015

6pm to 8.30pm

Image credit: “The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects, Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, 1967”​

We are delighted to announce that the debate is now fully booked, to join the reserve list please visit the platform theatre box office via the Platform Theatre website.

There are still places available for related activies, free tours at the British Library on the 16th and the Penguin Roudtable, Object Handling sessions and Bookbinding workshops which are all taking place at CSM on the 17th December. To view the full programme of events and to book a place, please visit the  Books and the Human web page.

University of the Arts London is delighted to be hosting this high profile debate which will take place at its Central Saint Martins campus. The Books and the Human debate is part of the AHRC 10th anniversary celebration series

The book in all its forms connects us to the past, captures the present and looks to the future. The intimate relationship between books and knowledge and between books and human beings is fundamental and crosses times and cultures. In an age when digital technologies and e-books in particular are challenging the traditional forms of the book, how do these changes impact on our relationship with it? What does the book as an idea, as a repository of information and as a physical object mean to us any longer? What does our changing relationship with the book say about ‘The Way We Live Now’?

A panel of distinguished speakers will approach the topic ‘the book’ through the various lenses of philosophy, history, politics, literature and creative practice (the making of books).
Confirmed speakers to date: 


Stuart Kelly [Chair]

Writer, Critic and Books Editor of Scotland on Sunday

Johanna Drucker

Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of   
Information Studies at UCLA

Tom Uglow

Creative Director, Google Creative Lab

Catherine Eagleton

Head of Asia and Africa Collections, British Library

Tom MCCarthy


Introduced by Nigel Carrington

Vice-Chancellor, Univerisity of the Arts London


Alongside the debate the following free bookable events will explore how books are conceived, crafted, experienced and shared:

British Library Tours - free tours of the Sir John Ritblat Treasures Gallery 
Bookbinding Workshops - at CSM - Gain hands-on experience of how books are made 
Penguin Roundtable - at CSM - A roundtable discussion on the significance, history and future of one of the most distinctive publishing houses  

This debate is a collaboration between the AHRC and the University of the Arts London.