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Ohio State University Research Foundation (Columbus, OH 43212)
James K. Bracken (Project Director: March 2008 to June 2010)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$198,669 (approved)
$198,669 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2008 – 9/30/2009

The Reformation of the Book: 1450-1650

A five-week seminar for fifteen college and university teachers in Antwerp, Belgium, and Oxford, England, on the advent of printing and its effects on the Protestant Reformation and the Counter (or Catholic) Reformation.

We propose an NEH Summer Seminar on The Reformation of the Book: 1450-1650. It would investigate the gradual transformation of the production, dissemination, and reading of Western European books during the two centuries following the mid-fifteenth-century invention of printing with movable type on hand-operated presses. In particular, we plan to pose the governing questions of whether the advent of printing was a necessary precondition for the Protestant Reformation and how printing related to the Counter Reformation (or Catholic Reformation). Intellectual, literary, religious, cultural, social, and printing historians are currently engaged in fruitful debate over these questions and the related issue of whether the impact of printing was revolutionary or evolutionary.