Associate Professor Bonnie Mak is an invited speaker at Literature and Formats, a symposium on the materiality of texts, which will be held at the University of Copenhagen on November 15-16. Organized by the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, the event will bring together an international slate of speakers to examine the complex relationship between text and format. Mak's paper, "Scholarship and Its Formats: Documenting the Humanities," explores the enduring features of humanistic scholarship in different technological contexts.
"In a world in which productivity is increasingly gauged by data-driven metrics, we must articulate the distinctive contribution of humanistic research in its own terms," Mak said. "Thinking about the materiality of the humanities—how humanistic scholarship is performed and instantiated—may offer a different way to engage in campus conversations about quality and impact."
Mak holds appointments in the iSchool, History, and Medieval Studies at Illinois. Her areas of research include the history of information practices and the aesthetics of information. A forthcoming publication explores the manuscript as a technology of information visualization, while another examines the logic of the card catalog. Mak is currently collaborating with graphic designers to develop digital interfaces that encourage alternative ways of interacting with the plant collections at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia. Her first book, How the Page Matters (University of Toronto Press, 2011), examines the interface of the page as it is developed across time, geographies, and technologies.