Material Text Cultures

The Order of Knowledge and Biographical Writing. Calculated Handwriting in Printed Books of the Early Modern Period (16th and 17th Century)


current staff members

Teilprojektleiterin Dr. Sylvia Brockstieger
Mitarbeiterin Rebecca Hirt




The project investigates the interaction between individual handwriting and the printed text in books of the early modern period which present an objective order of knowledge and anticipate handwritten interventions, by means of a specific layout and inserted blank pages or spaces. It examines the particular materiality created by the combination of handwriting, printed text, and images. It also considers social contexts that determine specific aspects of text production and reception.

Calendric diary of Dorothea von Anhalt-Zerbst (written 1618 to 1634) = Andreas Friedrich, Emblemata Nova, das ist/ New Bilderbuch [….], Frankfurt: Lucas Jennis 1617 (Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel: Cod. Guelf. 231 Noviss. 8°), S. 68+4f.

Hence, we witness the continued centrality of handwriting in the age of print. In collaboration with A06 (Schneidmüller), B04 (Liss) und B14 (Trede), our project also theorizes the materiality of writing between the printed and the handwritten text.

[anonymous owner], Gallus Emmen, Almanach und Schreibkalender auffs 1575. Jahr […], Bautzen: Michael Wolrab [1574] (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München: Res. Chrlg. 323n), A4vf.

The focus of B13 lies on biographic genres such as calendric diaries and those alba amicorum based on emblem books. The project explores the interaction between individual and collective sets of knowledge, their material and topological occurrence within the artifact, and subsequent practices of biographical, social (i.e. within the context of the court, the university, or the military), and literary "identity politics." Thus, it sheds light on how calendric as well as emblematic and allegorical patterns shaped modes and conditions of early modern biographical writing.

* The subproject B13 is supported by the student assistants Tamara Ludwig and Pauline Solvi.


Subprojects of the 3rd Funding Period

A01 A02 A03 A05 A06 A08 A09 A10 A11 A12 B01 B04 B09 B10 B13 B14 B15 C05 C07 C08 C09 C10 INF Ö2 Z



Completed Subprojects

A01 A03 A04 B02 B03 B06 B07 B11 B12 C01 C02 C03 C04 C06 IGK Ö1



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