93003 - Book and Digital Publishing (1)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Communication Sciences (cod. 8885)

Learning outcomes

Starting from an analysis of reading practices in contemporary publishing and from the different meanings of text based on different supports, the course offers students a general and technical-practical introduction to processes, products and social practices of publishing ecosystem.

Course contents

Starting from the books' business, the analysis expands to the wider area of digital devices. But, like a sort of distant reading, it matches the statistical picture of that traditional with the revolution started by the regular and witting use of the instrument by the Digital Humanities and their use (and abuse, like shows the case of A.I., Biga Data in Publishing and Cultural Heritage) involving digital revolution of reading, hybrid use of books and three-dimensional digital objects in education, digital rights market and problems of intellectual property, and cognitive bias.

In fact, if compared to other areas, Italian publishers seem rather slow at moving towards an industry rooted and grounded in the digital revolution, as a result of a common lack of formation and research and of the persistence of traditional ways to imagine and structure the supply chain. Still, there are a few exceptions, represented by those see digital devices not merely like every other product to sell but like a challenge to conceive and create innovative objects; it is then possible to observe a shift of workflow models from vertical to horizontal –and sometimes to rhizomatic shapes, more typical of the cultural industries (like e.g. video game industry) where editors are considered as a producers – ii) as well as a starting process of global acquisitions and strategical mergers, and, iii) last but not least the orientation and reading of the big data, intended as shared ontology crossovering the other areas of cultural contents and heritage. In the current coexistence of traditional and digital publishing –a hybrid model that has the upside of being un-ideological and more adherent to the actual state of the market– the European strategies are pointing towards a common digital market, ultimately acknowledging the full convergence and integration of the book system with the wider horizon of cultural industries.


R. Darnton, The Case for Books, Harvard U.P.

P Chantépie (ed.) European Cultural Industries in the Context of Digital Globalization, Special Issue of Economia della Cultura, 2/2015, il Mulino, Bologna

Chloé Girard, Le reseau et ses outils comme lieu du raffinement du livre, dans Revue de Sciences et Lettres, 2 (2014) - Episté mologie digitales des sciences humaines et sociales, Ecole Normale Superieure Editeur, http://rsl.org

N. Howard, The book: The life Story of a Technology, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD (ISBN 978-0-8018-9311-7)

Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H. R. Woudhuysen (eds.) The Oxford Companion to the Books, OUP, (Introduction and Chapters on UK, France, US and Germany)

S. Fish, Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretative Communities, Harvard UP, 1982


D. Cardon, A quoi revent les algoritmes, Seuil, Paris

R. Chartier, Inscription and Erasure: Literature and Written Culture from the Eleventh to the Eighteenth Century' [http://www.history.upenn.edu/publications/2008/roger-chartier] 'University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008

M. Ferraris, Documentality, why it is necessary to leave traces, Fordham U.P., (NY), 2013.

Teaching methods

Multimedial and laboratorial teaching

Assessment methods

A written paper in English or French focused on the state of the art of Publishing in countries the students are coming from, will be request and discussed in the classroom

Teaching tools

The teaching tool are based and grounded in a plurality of sources and supports: web-plattforms (Teams) books, articles, conferences, papers (hybrids), blog, website, film, visit to applied lab-ont and medialab etc

Office hours

See the website of Riccardo Fedriga


Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.