“As a cultural mode, model, and medium, inventorying is a felicitous category for thinking about nineteenth-century studies, not least because there is a marked interest in its (re)definition throughout the century. [I]nventorying operates in conjunction (and tension) with related cultural techniques and media of collection, classification, preservation, and distribution (from lists to catalogues and beyond) that invite modular approaches and new critical tactics.”

“If we understand inventories as inherently modular, and the practices and objects involved as operating across diverse registers, the critical work that they invite must inevitably bear certain traces of this modularity and adaptability. …Along with focusing on specific techniques and objects,”  the workshop makes “various inroads into the ‘what, when, where, why and how’ of inventorying, with initial results crystallizing around questions of: (1) categorical demarcations and confluences (What are inventories, how do they intersect with related categories, and what types of cultural techniques mobilize them?); (2) localities and spatial constructions (Where are inventories, how do they negotiate and reconfigure notions of space, what sites have been traditionally affiliated with inventorying practices, and what sites newly emerge in the nineteenth century?); (3) temporal dimensions (When are inventories, how do they articulate notions of memory and recollection as well as ‘legacy’ and the future, and what temporal figures do they coalesce?); and (4) modalities (How and why do inventories exist; how are practices of inventorying deployed and to what ends?).”

Friday, Nov. 19

Roundtable: Media Inventories 3.0 (public event)

(with Sean Franzel, Petra McGillen and Ilinca Iurascu)

3:30pm (EST) – 4:30pm (EST)

Register here   (Note that the times on the CENES website correspond to PST)

Saturday, Nov. 20

Workshop Day 1

Session 1: 10am (EST)-noon (EST)


Session 2: 1pm (EST)-3pm (EST)

Sunday, Nov. 21

Workshop Day 2

Session 1: 10am (EST)-noon (EST)


Session 2: 1pm (EST)-3pm (EST)




Image Credit: Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg. Entwurf einer Hausrechnung in doppelten Posten (1769)

Text: “Media Inventories of the Nineteenth Century: A Report from Two Workshops” Goethe Yearbook XXVIII (2021), p.286-288.