Libraries' 2021 Mann Lecture explores 'Ecologies of Print Matter'

Brooke Palmieri Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Brooke Palmieri, founder of Camp Books, will serve as the distinguished speaker for the 2021 Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, via Zoom. Their lecture is entitled “The Regenerative Text: Ecologies of Printed Matter.”  

The lecture considers print as “regenerative,” a recent term that has emerged to address climate breakdown, while asking what an ecological approach to printing history entails? Printed materials pass through many environments and each must be mapped, from new materials that comprise them, to the places where they are preserved. Rather than analyzing texts as remnants of human culture and expression, they can be seen as material witnesses of the extent to which humanity is embedded in the natural world. In highlighting printed works throughout history that are co-evolutionary, the materiality of information becomes an important platform for raising ecological awareness, teaching about histories of exploitation that must not be repeated, and providing space to imagine new possibilities. The lecture connects with various rare books and archival collections featured in the online exhibition Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact.

Palmieri is a writer, printer and bookseller. After completing a doctorate in history at University College London in 2017, Palmieri founded Camp Books, a traveling rare bookshop and imprint focusing on LGBTQIA+ history and allied social movements, particularly those related to feminism, anti-colonialism, and environmentalism. Since 2015, Palmieri has edited Printing History, the journal of the American printing History Association, and since 2016 has serves as a member of the faculty at London Rare Book School, teaching “The Queer Book.”

“We are excited for Dr. Palmieri to join us for the 2021 Charles W. Mann Lecture and lead us on an ecological exploration of the book arts offering a new lens for engaging with special collections at Penn State,” noted Jennifer Meehan, head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library. “We hope this lecture will spark dialogue about the materiality of information at Penn State and the possibilities for 'regenerative' approaches to research, teaching and learning.”

The Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts is named in honor of the first Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair for Special Collections in the University Libraries. This annual event, featuring scholars with academic research areas connected to the materials held in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, is supported by the Mary Louise Krumrine Endowment and sponsored by Penn State University Libraries.

The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. For additional information, or with questions about access, contact Clara Drummond at in advance of the event.


Last Updated March 11, 2021