Textual Spaces

Undergraduate Brooke Palmieri curates exhibit about the places in which we read.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

By Peter Nichols

Where do we read? And how do those places affect our reading? Senior Brooke Palmieri responded to these questions by mounting an exhibition in Van Pelt Library’s Rosenwald Gallery. The places we encounter text—classroom, street, office or elsewhere—usually go unnoticed, she says. But they can determine what is there to be read, who is there to do the reading and even how the printed or digital words are approached by the reader.

Her exhibit, Textual Spaces, turns that background into foreground and makes us notice. Using materials from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and with the help of its staff, Palmieri created 12 three-dimensional display cases depicting different rooms or scenes. Each textual space held objects from the library’s collections suitable to the scene. Says the undergrad curator, “The exhibit forces people who ‘read’ it—who presumably read books—to reevaluate the things that happen when they read.”