Monthly Schedule


What, When, and Where is Paper

24 September, 2020

‣ Joshua Calhoun. The Nature of Paper.  Introduction “Toward an Ecology of Texts” & Chapter 1 “Substances Used to Convey Ideas.”

‣ Heidi Craig. “Rags, Ragpickers & Early Papermaking.”

‣ Jonathan Berliner. “Written in the Birch Bark: The Linguistic-Material Worldmaking of Simon Pokagon.”

‣ Keith Houston. “Hidebound: The Grisly Invention of Parchment.”


Paper Sites and Paper Labour

29 October, 2020

‣ Joan Baxter. The Mill. Chapters 1, 4, 5 & 10. 

‣ Hester Blum. The News at the Ends of the Earth. Chapter 4 “Dead Letter Reckoning.”

‣ David Henkin. “Word on the Street: Bills, Boards, Banners.”

‣ Elaine Leong. “Papering the Household: Paper, Recipes, and Everyday Technologies in Early Modern England.”

➸ OBJECT LESSON: Woodchip, by Michael Stamm


Governing with Paper / The Paper State

19 November, 2020

‣ Lisa Gitelman. Paper Knowledge. Introduction & Chapter 1 “A Short History of ________.” 

‣ Ben Kafka. The Demon of Writing. Introduction “The Psychic Life of Paperwork” & Chapter 1 “The Disciplined State.”

‣ Mitch Anzuoni. “Tracing Paper.”

‣ Patricia Crain. “Potent Papers.”

‣ Matthew Hull. Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan. Chapter 4 “The Expropriation of Land and the Misappropriation of Lists.”

➸ OBJECT LESSON: Passport, by Craig Robertson (cancelled)


Ordering Paper: Systems and Files

17 December, 2020

‣ Cornelia Vismann. Files. Chapter 5 “From the Bureau to Data Protection” & 6 “Files to Icons.”

‣ Mark Krajewski. Paper Machines. Chapter 4 “Thinking in Boxes.”

‣ Craig Robertson. “Granular Certainty.”

‣ Diana Kamin. “Mid-century Visions, Programmed Affinities.”

‣ Kregg Hetherington. Guerrilla Auditors. Chapter 4 “Duplicitous Documents.” 

➸ OBJECT LESSON: Manual, by Anna Weichselbraun


Support, Substrate, Medium

21 January, 2021

‣ Jacques Derrida. Paper Machine. Chapter 5 “Paper or Me, You Know… (New Speculations on a Luxury of the Poor).”

‣ Craig Dworkin. No Medium. Chapter 1 “The Logic of Substrate.”

‣ Caroline Fowler. The Art of Paper. Chapter 1 “Tracking Paper Routes across the Early Modern World.”

‣ Dena Goodman. “Why is Writing Paper Blue? Colour and Fashion in Eighteenth Century Writing Paper.”

‣ Vilém Flusser. Gestures. Section “The Gesture of Writing.”

➸ OBJECT LESSON: Flong, by Chermaine Cadeau


Paper Intimacy and Luxury

18 February, 2021

‣ Kathleen Kasten. “Writing Life: Paper as Symbol and Commodity in the Letters of the Marquise de Sévigné”

‣ Christina Michelon. “Touching Sentiment: The Tactility of Nineteenth-Century Valentines”

‣ Heather Wolfe. “Letter Writing and Paper Connoisseurship in Early Modern England”

‣ Lothar Müller. White Magic.  “Laterna Magic: Paper and Interiors”

‣ Jonathan Senchyne. The Intimacy of Paper in Early and Nineteenth-century American Literature. Chapter 4 “The Whiteness of the Page: Racial Legibility and Authenticity”

‣ Claire Taylor. The Design, Production and Reception of Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper in Britain. Chapter 5 “Challenging the High Arts: Papier Mâché, Stucco Paper and ‘Landskip’ Papers

➸ OBJECT LESSONS: Luxurious Paper, by Catriona Macleaod & Paper Slip, Deirdre Lynch


Shaping Paper, Shifting Forms

18 March, 2021

‣ Johanna Drucker. The Century of Artists’ Books. Chapter 6 “The Codex and its Variations.”

‣ Maggie Cao. « Trompe L’oeil and Financial Risk in the Age of Paper.”

‣ Ellen Gruber Garvey. Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance. Chapter 4  “Alternative Histories in African American Scrapbooks.” 

‣ Anke te Heesen. “News, Paper, Scissors: Clippings in the Sciences and Arts Around 1920.”

➸ OBJECT LESSON: Zine, by Sabrina Fazili



22 April, 2021

‣ Marianne Constable. “The Paper Shredder: Trails of Law.” 

‣ Janet Lee Scott. For Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors: The Chinese Tradition of Paper Offerings. Chapter 1 “The Practices of Paper Burning.”

‣ Leah Price. How to do Things with Books in Victorian Britain. Chapter 7 “The Book as Waste.”

‣ Brigette Beck Pristed. “Reading and Recycling: The Soviet Paper Debate and Makulatura Books.”  

‣ Emily Butterworth. “Apothecaries’ Cornets: Books as Waste Paper in the Renaissance.”

➸ OBJECT LESSONS: Book Bomb, by Joseph Elkanah Rosenberg & Burn Bag, by Alysse Kushinski