Graphosphaera / Graphosphere / Graphosphère / Grafosfera / Графосфера: Words, Concepts, Approaches


Simon D. Franklin

University of Cambridge


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For citation: Franklin, Simon. Graphosphaera/Graphosphere/Graphosphère /Grafosfera/графосфера: Words, Concepts, Approaches // Graphosphaera. 2021. Vol. 1. P. 9–19. URL:

DOI: 10.32608/2782-5272-2022-1-9-19

Abstract: “Graphosphaera” and related words have appeared in various forms and languages in recent years. This article considers “graphospheric” vocabulary in two respects: semantic, and functional. The semantic fields are created both implicitly and explicitly. The implied meanings are suggested in part by the etymology of the word forms, and partly by association with similar words that include “-sphere” (e. g. semiosphere, noosphere, biosphere etc.). The explicit meanings are given in several published definitions, not all of which coincide with each other. A broad semantic field is appropriate with respect to the object of study. However, graphospheric vocabulary may serve a useful function when it implies a specific kind of approach to the object of study. The article outlines the main features of a “graphospheric approach” to the study of material texts and cultures of writing. Treating graphospheres as real spaces (like ecosystems), not as theoretical construct, the graphospheric approach is holistic, inclusive, systemic, non-hierarchical and dynamic. It can be an effective tool not only for the study of specific sources but also in the comparative study of information technologies (technologies of the word) in history.

Key words: graphosphere, information technology, material texts, inscriptions, writing

Литература / References

Франклин С. Письменность, общество и культура в Древней Руси (около 950–1300 гг.). СПб., 2010. [Franklin S. Pis'mennost', obshchestvo i kul'tura v Drevney Rusi (okolo 950–1300 gg.). St-Petersburg, 2010 (transl. of Franklin 2002).]

Франклин C. Русская графосфера, 1450–1850. СПб., 2020. [Franklin S. Russkaya grafosfera, 1450–1850. St-Petersburg, 2020 (transl. of Franklin 2019).]

Debray R. Socialism: A Life-Cycle // New Left Review. London, 2007. N 46 (originally published in French in: Debray R. Cours de médiologie générale. Paris, 1991).

Franklin S. Writing, Society and Culture in early Rus, c. 950–1300. Cambridge, 2002.

Franklin S. Mapping the Graphosphere: Cultures of Writing in Early 19th-Century Russia (and Before) // Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. Bloomington (Ind.), 2011. Vol. 12, N 3.

Franklin S. The Russian Graphosphere, 1450–1850. Cambridge, 2019.

Published on  December 12th, 2023