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The Munby Fellow for 2018-19 is Dr Gill Partington, working on 'Moveable books'. She writes of her fellowship project: My research is about the weird things people do with the book, and its uses not just as literary artefact but as art medium, as plaything, and physical object. As Munby Fellow I’m working with the CUL’s collection of ‘moveable books’, a category that includes pop-up books, books with holes, flaps and tabs to pull, or parts to cut out and play with. These types of children’s novelty book first became popular in the nineteenth century, and are still in widespread use today.

Firstly, I’m interested in what they can tell us about the act of reading as a tactile as well as a cognitive act. In a sense, all books are ‘moveable’, involving the hands as well as the eyes, but we seldom become aware of this. Moveable books are useful because they help to highlight the role of the reading body, therefore. Secondly, I’m looking at the way they experiment with the book form, stretching it into unconventional formats and shapes. Again, these deviations can tell us about the conventions by which we normally interact with the surface of the page, and how we expect it to behave. My research as Munby Fellow is work towards a monograph called Page Not Found, about the limits – both conceptual and physical - of the page.  

Information about Gill's work can be found on her website: https://www.gillpartington.com/

Munby Application details

The Fellowship is normally advertised each autumn for a post beginning in October the following year. Election to the Fellowship is normally made by early January of the year of the date of commencement of the Fellowship.