Amaranth Borsuk launches public project to define the book


To accompany her recently-published volume The Book  (MIT Press, 2018), IAS faculty member Amaranth Borsuk has launched a web project to expand our definition of an object we think we know intimately. At, Borsuk is compiling crowd-sourced answers to the question What is the/a book?, which she has posed to over 100 artists, writers, scholars, publishers, and librarians. In her MIT Press volume, Borsuk defines the book with respect to its status as object, content, idea, and interface. By nature slippery, the book has taken numerous forms over time and been the subject of extensive experimentation by artists, filmmakers, tinkerers, and bookbinders. This public project, founded on the belief that our understanding of the book is shaped by those engaged with its material and digital forms, attempts to draw attention to the many other formulations of what the book is and can be.

Borsuk launched the project at a reading at the MIT Press Bookstore in Cambridge, MA last week and will be posting a new definition to the site each day through the summer. You can follow the project on Twitter @amaranthborsuk or by visiting

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