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Major Conference on November 14, 2008 to Examine "Why Books Still Matter"

NEW HAVEN—On November 14, 2008, Yale University Press will mark its centenary with an extraordinary gathering of minds and ideas. Together with Yale University’s Whitney Humanities Center and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Press will host an academic conference, “Why Books Still Matter.” The program will make the counterintuitive case that the Age of Information, in which access to information is ubiquitous, is an age that argues for the central importance of the book.
The fact that research and information have so many means of dissemination prompts the question, “What needs to be a book?” The conference, which is free and open to the public, will gather a stellar collection of participants to examine this central issue in three panel discussions that address, respectively, the digital future of scholarly publishing, the idea of the press in the modern university, and the broader question “Whither the University Press?”

John Donatich, the Director of Yale University Press, states: “We believe that this cultural moment provides a tremendous opportunity for the community of University Presses to refine and expand its mission—a mission that has always had enormous significance far beyond academia. This conference promises to be an intellectually exciting and meaningful day: an apt way for Yale University Press to celebrate its 100th anniversary.”

The program is free and open to the public. Further details, including a full listing of the day’s events and participants, are on the attached schedule.

Press Contacts: Heather D’Auria, Yale University Press, (203) 432-8193, heather.dauria@yale.edu
Robert Pranzatelli, Yale University Press, (203) 432-0972, robert.pranzatelli@yale.edu

Academic Conference
Where: Whitney Humanities Center
When: November 14, 2008
Title: Why Books Still Matter

Keynote address: 10:00 - 10:30 am
John Donatich, Director, Yale University Press

Panel One: 10:30 – 12:00 pm
The Digital Future of Scholarly Publishing
Yochai Benkler (Professor of Law, Harvard)
David Gelernter (Professor of Computer Science, Yale)
Michael Heller (Professor of Law, Columbia)
Susan Scafidi (Associate Professor of Law, Fordham)
Robert Darnton (Director, Harvard U. Library) (moderator)

Panel Two: 1:30 - 3:00 pm
The Idea of the Press in the Modern University
Akhil Amar (Professor of Law, Yale)
David Bromwich (Professor of English, Yale)
John Demos (Professor of American History, Yale)
Douglas Rae (Professor, School of Management, Yale)
Tony Kronman (Professor of Law, Yale)
Rick Levin (President, Yale University) (moderator)

Panel Three: 3:15 - 4:45 pm
Whither the University Press
Peter Dougherty (Director, Princeton U Press)
Ellen Faran (Director, MIT Press)
William Sisler (Director, Harvard Press)
John Donatich (Director, Yale University Press)
Laura Brown (Former Director, Oxford U Press) (moderator)

Cocktails: 5:00
For directions to the Whitney Humanities Center, visit: http://www.yale.edu/whc/contact.html

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