Cinema and media studies includes a dizzying array of subfields: film history, television studies, media studies, critical theory, visual arts, cultural studies, digital culture, game studies, popular culture, and the study of the moving image. Because the boundaries of the discipline are continuously debated and because technology is constantly changing, students and scholars find it difficult if not impossible to keep up with all the literature in their areas of expertise. Even familiar subjects such as a national cinema or the work of a canonical filmmaker are becoming less familiar as new approaches and new research redefine the field. Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies has recruited many of the finest scholars in cinema and media studies to chart a path through the information thicket and toward a carefully organized, thoroughly peer-reviewed account of the most important books, articles, and Web sites.
An artist’s book is a work of art that takes the form of a book. But what does that mean? And what counts as a book, anyway? Is it a bunch of pages that have been bound together, or is there more to it than that?
These are the kinds of questions that artists’ books try to answer. They play with both the form and the function of books as objects, encouraging onlookers to question traditional conceptualizations of “books.” They are usually handmade, often unique, and all different from one another. Because most artist’s books are hand-made and only crafted in small, limited runs, they offer artists a special opportunity to create books that are intensely personal.
All of the books featured in this exhibit are part of Miami University’s Walter Havighurst Special Collections. The materials on display reflect a concentrated effort to build a diverse, provocative collection that will challenge students to reconsider their notion of “books” while also paying tribute to the creativity and innovation of book artists across the globe.
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