Dr Eben Muse
Reader in Bookselling
Position: Senior Lecturer in Digital Media
Personal website: Parnassus Musings
Phone: +44 (0)1248 388628
“A bookstore is one of the few places where all the cantankerous, conflicting, alluring voices of the world co-exist in peace and order and the avid reader is as free as a person can possibly be, because she is free to choose among them.” Jane Smiley’s oft-quoted description of the multitude of voices in a bookstore, and the freedom that complexity creates, echoes Doreen Massey’s description of “the chance of space”, a location where unexpected intersections, of people, ideas and cultures can create the opportunity for new connections and for action that is not restricted by pre-existing structures. This bookstore space can outwit the curator, the corporate chain, the academic and the bookseller, creating unexpected opportunities for action and change. As such, the bookstore as meaningful location has historically been a meeting place for debate, planning and for action.
Dr Muse’s research project, The Space of Bookselling, examines physical bookstores and their digital counterparts as meaningful locations as described by John Agnew (Place and Politics, 1987) as “locale, location and, sense of place”. As a meaningful location, the bookstore, physical or digital, is a space created in a specific setting within a geographical and social context that has its own meaningful identity. Osborne, in The Rise of the Modernist Bookshop, identified them as counter-spaces: “spaces that hijack dominant spaces and repurpose them to leisure or liberating ones”, spaces that “question or change the nature of that dominant space.” The Space of Bookselling looks at the evolution of these meaningful locations through interviews with booksellers in the UK and USA, corpus analysis of social and broadcast media text, and critical review of the representations of bookstores in film and literature. The work has been presented at international conferences in the UK and United States, including SHARP, By the Book, and The Future Space of Bookselling. It is being developed into a monograph, The Fantasy of the Bookstore.
Dr Muse is interested in supervising postgraduate researchers in any aspect of the book trade, especially bookselling, digital and interactive books, digital publishing, or publishing culture, or the space of books.
- PublishedThe Creative Practice Research Manifesto
Skains, R., Lewis, A. & Muse, E., 7 Jul 2014.
Research output: Contribution to conference › Paper
Muse, E., 14 Sep 2012, In : Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. 4, 2, p. 115-116
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
- PublishedCreating second lives: Community, identity and spatiality as constructions of the virtual.
Muse, E. J. (ed.), Ensslin, A. (ed.) & Muse, E. (ed.), 1 Jan 2011, 2011 ed. Routledge.
Research output: Book/Report › Book
- PublishedThe event of space: defining place in a virtual landscape.
Muse, E. J., Muse, E. & Ensslin, A. (ed.), 1 Jan 2011, Creating second lives: Community: identity and spatiality as constructions of the virtual.. 2011 ed. Routledge, p. 190-211
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter
- PublishedEngaging Diversity: Report on pedagogical practices and methods in e-learning
Hathaway, T., Muse, E. & Althoff, T., 19 Jan 2007, Prifysgol Bangor University.
Research output: Book/Report › Other report
- Women in Publishing Symposium
15 Feb 2020Activity: Participation in conference (Organiser)
- Bookselling Research Network (External organisation)
This Network, international in scope but based in the UK, brings together booksellers, researchers, and associations to celebrate and explore the histories, practices, and cultures of bookselling, past, present and future. The Network helps facilitate practical training, research projects, events, and a living archive of bookselling-related information; it also works closely with organisations like the Booksellers Association and the Books Council of Wales to support strategic plans and encourage knowledge exchange initiatives. The Network is led by Dr Eben Muse (Bangor University, The Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book) and Dr Samantha Rayner (UCL, The Centre for Publishing and the Bloomsbury CHAPTER), and supported by the Booksellers Association and the Books Council of Wales.
2020 →Activity: Membership of network (Chair)
- Wandering Games
10 Jul 2019 – 12 Jul 2019Activity: Participation in conference (Organiser)
- Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing 2019
Panel: Representing Reading Spaces (Sponsor: the Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book, Bangor University)
2019Activity: Participation in conference (Speaker)
- The Suffrage Symposium
26 May 2018Activity: Participation in conference (Member of programme committee)
- Leafing Through the History of the Book
4 Apr 2018Activity: Participation in conference (Organiser)
- By the Book 5
"Fantasising the Bookstore"
2018Activity: Participation in conference (Speaker)
- By the Book 4
"Curating for readers: independent bookstores"
2017Activity: Participation in conference (Speaker)
- Cambridge University Press (Publisher)
“Gatherings” can mean both an occasion when people are brought together and a group of leaves, or pages, bound together in a book. Each Gathering will be a study of a particular area of publishing or book culture, presented as a collection of short monograph length outputs, all with the potential to be extended via additional online paratexts.
2017 – 2020Activity: Editorial activity (Editor)
- Future Space of Bookselling Conference
3 Jun 2016 – 4 Jun 2016Activity: Participation in conference (Organiser)
- University Press Redux conference
The Future Space of Bookselling
17 Mar 2016
Links:Activity: Participation in conference (Speaker)
- “Academic Book Week”
Presented at Independent Publishing Group Autumn Conference
2016Activity: Invited talk (Speaker)
- Independent Publishing Group Autumn Conference
12 Nov 2015Activity: Participation in conference (Invited speaker)
- Technologies of Reading
11 Nov 2015
Links:Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar (Lecturer)
- The future of reading – possibilities in a world of speculation
7 Sep 2015
- Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment 6th Global Conference
Living with Uncertainty in Virtual Worlds
18 Jul 2014Activity: Participation in conference (Participant)
- Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space Conference
Social networks and the space of bookselling
20 Jun 2014
Links:Activity: Participation in conference (Participant)
- Under the Mask 2012
Let loose the players of games
13 Jun 2012
Links:Activity: Participation in conference (Participant)
- Creating Second Lives 2011: Blurring Boundaries
9 Sep 2011 – 10 Sep 2011Activity: Participation in conference (Organiser)
- Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Journal)
Links:Activity: Editorial activity (Editor)
01/10/2017 – 01/01/2021 (Finished)
06/01/2014 – 03/01/2018 (Finished)
01/10/2006 – 28/08/2014 (Finished)
01/10/2006 – 03/09/2010 (Finished)
01/07/2006 – 31/08/2009 (Finished)
02/01/2006 – 17/07/2008 (Finished)
27/09/2005 – 31/08/2009 (Finished)
01/10/2003 – 01/08/2022 (Active)