Everyday Objects as Technology

Faculty, students encouraged to submit ideas for publication

Object Lessons is an essay and book series published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury about the hidden lives of ordinary things, from sardines to silence, juniper berries to jumper cables. The series, co-conceived and co-edited by Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair of Media Studies Ian Bogost, was started to provide writers and scholars a way to write for a broad, general audience about things of any kind as a type of technology. 

Ian Bogost
Click image to enlarge

Bogost also sees the series as an innovative revision to both science journalism and technology publishing.

"Allowing scholars to write lithe, readable pieces in their own words for a smart, general audience at The Atlantic offers a needed antidote to breathless (and often inaccurate) technology writing," Bogost explains. "In addition, the series offers those who might not otherwise have reason, interest or opportunity to publish a book on their object of interest to do so.”

Object Lessons books will be short—about 25,000 words—and will be globally distributed in print and electronic format by Bloomsbury, a publisher that boasts both a scholarly and a trade arm.

Each Object Lessons project will start from a specific inspiration: an anthropological query, ecological matter, historical event, literary passage, personal narrative, philosophical speculation, technological innovation—and from there develop original insights around and novel lessons about the object in question.

"Subjects, methods and style are totally open," explained Bogost. "So far, we have work in the hopper on car parks, shower curtains, blankets, Google Glass, trees, e-ink, thermostats, the remote control, elevators and many more. The possibilities are quite literally endless."

For more information or to submit a proposal, visit http://objectsobjectsobjects.com.