Cover of Text Technologies by Elaine Treharne and Claude Willan
Text Technologies
A History
Elaine Treharne and Claude Willan


July 2019
200 pages.
from $25.00

Cloth ISBN: 9781503600485
Paper ISBN: 9781503603844



The field of text technologies is a capacious analytical framework that focuses on all textual records throughout human history, from the earliest periods of traceable communication—perhaps as early as 60,000 BCE—to the present day. At its core, it examines the material history of communication: what constitutes a text, the purposes for which it is intended, how it functions, and the social ends that it serves.

This coursebook can be used to support any pedagogical or research activities in text technologies, the history of the book, the history of information, and textually-based work in the digital humanities. Through careful explanations of the field, examinations of terminology and themes, and illustrated case studies of diverse texts—from the Cyrus cylinder to the Eagles' "Hotel California"—Elaine Treharne and Claude Willan offer a clear yet nuanced overview of how humans convey meaning. Text Technologies will enable students and teachers to generate multiple lines of inquiry into how communication—its production, form and materiality, and reception—is crucial to any interpretation of culture, history, and society.

About the authors

Elaine Treharne is Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities and Professor of English (and, by courtesy, of German Studies) at Stanford University, as well as Director of Stanford's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis.

Claude Willan is Director of the Digital Research Commons at the University of Houston Libraries.