Associate Professor Bonnie Mak presented the keynote address at "What is a Document? A Symposium on Documentation, Records, and Evidence," which was held November 8-9 at University Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia. The event was sponsored by the UTS Faculty of Law and is part of a three-year project funded by the Australian Research Council to examine the document from the perspective of laws of evidence. The symposium featured speakers from institutions across Australia in such diverse fields as government and international relations, design, art history, and law.
Mak's keynote, "A Sensorial Document of Scholarship," considered how documents and the systems in which they operate might be modified if knowledge-production and -transmission were understood as practices that engage all the senses.
"By tracking a sensorial publication through the processes of creation and dissemination, my paper investigates how such research is received by the academy, whether current institutional infrastructures are equipped to support such performances of scholarship, and who should bear the costs," Mak said.
Mak is jointly appointed in the iSchool and the Program in Medieval Studies at Illinois. Her first book, How the Page Matters (2011), examines the interface of the page as it is developed across time, geographies, and technologies. A second book-length project, Confessions of a 21st-Century Memsahib, examines the digital texts and images that are increasingly being used as resources for humanistic scholarship. She was an inaugural Senior Fellow at the Center for Humanities and Information at the Pennsylvania State University and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP).