pen and ink drawing of Gutenberg press

The 2019 Center for Early Cultures conference "Politics of the Obscene" resulted in a publication edited by Peter Frei, formerly assistant professor of European Languages and Studies at UCI, and including essays by Frei and Georges Van Den Abbeele, UCI Professor of European Languages and Studies.

The Politics of Obscenity in the Age of the Gutenberg Revolution: Obscene Means in Early Modern French and European Print Culture and Literature, edited by Peter Frei and Nelly Labère. (Routledge, 2022).

What does obscene mean? What does it have to say about the means through which meaning is produced and received in literary, artistic and, more broadly, social acts of representation and interaction? Early modern France and Europe faced these questions not only in regard to the political, religious and artistic reformations for which the Renaissance stands, but also in light of the reconfiguration of its mediasphere in the wake of the invention of the printing press. The Politics of Obscenity brings together researchers from Europe and the United States in offering scholars of early modern Europe a detailed understanding of the implications and the impact of obscene representations in their relationship to the Gutenberg Revolution which came to define Western modernity.