Tuesday 23 October 2018 – Sydney Shep (Victoria University of Wellington) – The Digital Handmade: Reimagining Nineteenth Century New Zealand Printing History

This seminar is 5:15 pm – 6:15 pm, 23 October 2018, in Room 203 (the John S Cohen Room), second floor, Institute of Historical Research. The IHR is in the North block of Senate House, University of London. Find Senate House on Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU. It will also be livestreamed.

Session chair: Melodee Beals

At first glance, the combination of additive or 3-D manufacturing and letterpress printing might appear incongruous. However, at Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, our practice-led research into the ‘digital handmade’ speaks back to devotees of technological disruption and evolutionary progressivism and celebrates hybridity and continuity. This illustrated talk explores the orthographic challenges of te reo Māori and how the affordances of new technology and serendipitous encounters in the analogue print shop enable us to reimagine if not reinvent nineteenth-century printing history


Dr Sydney J. Shep is Reader in Book History and The Printer, Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington. New Zealand. Her practice-led research involves the interdisciplinary study of transnational and cross-cultural book history and print culture, in the contexts of the history of empire, history of technology, and the history of reading. Topics of perennial interest include graffiti, ghostsigns, generative art, and the digital handmade. Sydney is currently a British Academy Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton, exploring the traces of the town’s bustling nineteenth-century book trades, now ripe for digital storytelling.

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