Exploring Vietnamese Block Printing

In Partnership With New Haven Free Public Library

The Best We Could Do is a graphic novel memoir by Vietnamese-American author-illustrator Thi Bui. To tie in with the book’s themes about identity and discovering her heritage, we’ll explore the traditional Vietnamese art of wood block printing. Devin Fitzgerald, a lecturer at Yale, will present a history of this art form, including showing several Vietnamese wood blocks from his collection. Afterward, participants will engage in a creative activity by using Tinker Lab supplies to explore the process of block printing.

Devin Fitzgerald

Devin Fitzgerald joins Yale as Lecturer in the Department of History and the Beinecke Library as an Associate Research Fellow. Prior to coming to Yale, Devin was the Curator of Rare Book and the History of Printing at UCLA Library Special Collections. Devin is an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography and is currently the Vice President of the Society. He actively uses over a dozen languages in his work and instruction and has taught at both the University of Virginia Rare Book School and the California Rare Book School. His research focuses on global book cultures and intercultural encounters. Some of his publications include, “The Early Modern Information Revolution,” coauthored with Ann Blair, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, “Chinese Papers in the Early Modern World” (Ars Orientalis) and “Manchu Language Pedagogical Practices: The Connections Between Manuscript and Printed Books” (Saksaha).  He is currently working on two monograph length studies. The first examines the interconnected histories of the paper codex. The second is a revision of the second half of his dissertation, which investigated the globalization of the idea of China during the early modern period. 

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