Free USF Forum Asks: Can the Book Survive the Information Age?

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2008) – Reading and writing are changing dramatically and the University of South Florida is asking: “Can the Book Survive the Information Revolution?” The USF Humanities Instituteis sponsoring an event that will explore some of the answers. A two-day conference titled Book 2.0 April 10 and 11 at the USF Tampa Library brings together noted scholars to look at the history and future of methods used to convey knowledge and information.

The opening address Thursday evening at 6:00, “The Book, the Academy, and Their Discontents” will be delivered by Domna Stanton, former president of the Modern Language Association and Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of CUNY. A reception precedes the talk at 5:30 in the Grace Allen Room (4th floor).

On Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., also in the Grace Allen Room, panels of USF faculty will discuss such topics as the methods of how information has been transmitted throughout history and how the objects of transmission are an integral part of learning; and how the emerging technologies affect the delivery system of information.

“Anyone who loves books and loves to read will be dazzled by the discussion,” said Humanities Institute Director William Scheuerle. “We’ve brought together some of the best thinkers on this subject and I know all of us will learn a great deal from what everyone has to say.”

Panelists include Nicole Discenza (English), Silvio Gaggi(Humanities/American Studies), Joe Moxley (English), Phyllis Ruscellaand Mark Greenberg(Library) and Anna Perrault (Library Science). In addition, Russ Ganim, co-director of the University of Nebraska Center for Digital Research in the Humanitieswill speak on “Old Books, New Readers, Old Readers, New Books: Digital Literacy for our Time.” Meredith Babb, director of the University Press of Florida, will discuss how the changes in the transmission of information have affected university presses.

This two-day symposium is free and open to the public. For information on upcoming Humanities Institute events, visit:

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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Photo: Domna Stanton