UBC iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Dr. Erik Kwakkel beginning August 1, 2018.
Dr. Kwakkel is a professor and scholar from Leiden University, and has published on a variety of book-history topics. His research is focused on premodern book design and its cultural-historical context.
Dr. Kwakkel is currently a professor in the Book and Digital Media Studies program at Leiden University, and holds the position of Scaliger Chair. In his time as Scaliger Chair he has been actively promoting teaching and research related to special collections at the University Library. Dr. Kwakkel has previously taught at the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia.
“Dr. Kwakkel is an outstanding scholar with deep subject expertise and a demonstrated talent for outreach and public education. We are excited at the prospect of revitalizing our program offerings in book history and digital humanities through his contributions,” says iSchool Director Luanne Freund.
Dr. Kwakkel received his MA in Middle Dutch Literature and a Ph.D. in Manuscript Studies from the University of Leiden. He lectured at the University of British Columbia (2003-2005), and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria History Department before returning to Holland in 2010. From 2010 to 2015, he directed a nationally funded project “Turning Over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance.” In 2014 he was E.A. Lowe Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and in 2015 he was appointed to the Comité International de Paléographie Latine.
Dr. Kwakkel is actively involved in digital humanities work and is passionate about the digitization of cultural heritage and medieval books. His medieval book blog highlights the parallels between premodern and digital age communication practices and his postings of scribbles and marginalia has received international attention. He is a co-editor of Author, Text, Book: Medieval Authorship in Theory and Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2012) and author of Books Before Print, forthcoming in 2018.
The iSchool is delighted to welcome Dr. Kwakkel, who will be teaching History of the Book in the upcoming academic year. “I am extremely excited to join the iSchool at UBC: it will be a privilege to teach the History of the Book to future generations of information specialists,” says Dr. Kwakkel.