March is a thrilling month for Literary Studies list for many reasons, not least of which is that five new Object Lessons titles are now available in the UK and around the world!
Hood, Bookshelf, Shipping Container, Cigarette Lighter, and Dust join the OL series, each volume of which is a look inside the hidden lives of ordinary objects. If you haven’t yet heard of the series, BoingBoing sums it up excellently: “small, gorgeously designed books that delve into their subjects” through “lively analyses,” edited by “game theory legend Ian Bogost and cultural studies academic Christopher Schaberg.”
The breadth of approaches, topics, and authors in the series allows for an unexpected mix of detail on the quotidian. How’d we end up with this batch, which pairs the political (Hood) with the philosophical (Dust), questions the relationship of objects (like a Bookshelf and Cigarette Lighter) to our identities, and examines how you got that iPhone you’re holding (hint: it probably came on a Shipping Container)?
“We’ve discovered that writers have all sorts of curious pet interests and areas of informal expertise — or just really good questions! — from which they can concoct a short book constrained by a single thing,” said Bogost and Schaberg in an interview with the Los Angeles Review of Books. “I don’t think we’ve ever rejected a pitch out of hand.” If you’re interested in learning more about the genesis and life of the series, definitely check out the full interview, which ranges from Bogost and Schaberg’s opinions on the commercial constraints of publishing to the future of the series.
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THE NEW FIVE
Check out our amazing covers and read more about the individual books below!
Read an excerpt from Bookshelf here via Literary Hub.
Read an excerpt from Hood here via New Republic.