Performing knowledge: On the (re)enactment of information in book theatres ca. 1500-1800

Between the sixteenth and eighteenth century nearly nine hundred books were printed in Europe that had the word theatre in their title. But what does it mean if the makers of these book theatres present their information to the reader as if in a theatre or as a spectacle? What styles and strategies for the discovery and presentation of knowledge do these books pursue and how were these received and (expected to be) enacted by the readers of these books? My research project is focused on these questions: it studies the styles and strategies that the makers of book theatres used for the visualisation of information and how marks of use and manipulation in these books evidence changing practices of readership.