Book Advertising

from the Eighteenth Century to the Digital Age
The English-language press

and the Japanese book trade



Project Overview

This research project investigates historical, cross-cultural, and contemporary factors informing advertising approaches and strategies within the publishing and book-selling industries of the English language press and Japanese book trade from the eighteenth century to the digital age. While wide-ranging in scope, it pursues two main strands of inquiry. Firstly, while it considers the commissioning and selling of books as fundamentally a commercial enterprise, it simultaneously problematizes the 'commodity-status' of the book and reduction of readers to 'mere consumers'. Secondly, it explores the ways in which advertising has played an important role in creating powerful adjunct narratives to the texts they promote, which shapes reader reception and often reflects the ideological and political sympathies of publishers. Research questions derived from these broad aims will be applied to the English-language press and the Japanese book trade, especially in the context of the birth of modernity.

Project Director

Peter Robinson
(Project Director)
Japan Women's University

David Finkelstein
(Collaborator & Advisor)
The University of Hull

Supported by The Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS) KAKEN-hi grant-in-aid award no. 17K17679.

Additional support from The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Event hosting by
The University of Edinburgh (UK),
Waseda University (Japan),
Japan Women's University (Japan)