Resource title

An Anthropological Analysis of Book Fairs

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: An Anthropological Analysis of Book Fairs

Resource description

This working paper examines the role of international book fairs in the globalpublishing industry, and in particular their relation to the publishing cycle,chain and field. It outlines some relevant historical features, as well as mainfunctions, of fairs, before describing in detail the daily activities of anindependent academic publisher at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Analysis of thebook fair takes place at two levels. The first focuses on the importance ofvisibility in a fair’s timing and location, as well as in the location and size ofparticipants’ stands, inclusion in the fair catalogue, business deals, and socialgatherings. The second examines the book fair as a tournament of values, orritual tournament, in terms of its framing, membership and currency. Theargument presented is that the currency of copyright is not dissimilar to a formof gift exchange and that, as a result, a book is both commodity and gift. It is inthe shadow of the gift that the commodity of the book is produced, distributed,sold and read.

Resource author

Brian Moeran

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language


Resource content type


Resource resource URL

Resource license

Check the according license before adaptation. When adapting give credits to the original author.