This study sets out to understand the ways a publishing house can set itself up as an actor able to intervene in the agency of authors, guiding – even determining – the performance of the writers, translators, and adapters it accommodated in the catalogue. The empirical angle is supported by an in-depth case-study of Romano Torres publishing house, a publisher set in Lisbon which established its activity in the realm of the Portuguese language between the years of 1885-1886 and 1990. To examine the publishing activity through the case analyzed herein is to understand how an intricate system of relations, and their context, shapes the action of agents and their dispositions. This reveals how in cultural production and circulation, the autonomy of each field can only be explained taking into account its permeability. In the end, this proposal is interested in capturing the ways a book publishing house for mass consumption ends up shaping a catalogue and its forms of circulation, by interfering simultaneously in the transformation of the book market and in the forms of making books reach their readers.
Publishing Practices: Past, Present, and Future
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Researcher, IHC - NOVA FCSH (Institute of Contemporary History), Universidade Nova de Lisboa/New University of Lisbon
Nuno Medeiros is Professor of Sociology at Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Lisboa of Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa/Lisbon School of Health Technology of IPL - Politécnico de Lisboa, Portugal, where he teaches since 1999. He is also a researcher at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IHC - NOVA FCSH) and at Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (H&TRC). He holds a bachelor of arts in Sociology, a masters' degree (MSc; MPhil) in Historical Sociology, and a PhD in Sociology. He is specialized in Historical Sociology of the book, publishing, bookselling, reading and print culture and communication, as well as cultural heritage and cultural practices. He has also been working for many years on the connections between social structure and food, health and illness, environment and professions.