The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0520  Tuesday, 20 October 2009

From:       Holger Schott Syme <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Saturday, 17 Oct 2009 14:22:14 -0400
Subject:    Rethinking Early Modern Print Culture Conference (CFP)


Rethinking Early Modern Print Culture

An international and interdisciplinary conference at
The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies
Victoria University in the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
15-17 October 2010

The view that early modernity saw the transformation of European 
societies into cultures of print has been widely influential in 
literary, historical, philosophical, and bibliographical studies of the 
period. The concept of print culture has provided scholars with a 
powerful tool for analyzing and theorizing new (or seemingly new) 
regimens of knowledge and networks of information transmission as well 
as developments in the worlds of literature, theatre, music, and the 
visual arts. However, more recently the concept has been reexamined  and 
destabilized, as critics have pointed out the continuing existence of 
cultures of manuscript, queried the privileging of technological 
advances over other cultural forces, and identified the presence of many 
of the supposed innovations of print in pre-print societies.

This multi-disciplinary conference aims to refine and redefine our 
understanding of early modern print cultures (from the fifteenth to the 
end of the seventeenth century). We invite papers seeking to explore 
questions of production and reception that have always been at the core 
of the historiography of print, developing a more refined sense of the 
complex roles played by various agents and institutions. But we 
especially encourage submissions that probe the boundaries of our 
subject, both chronologically and conceptually: did print culture have a 
clear beginning? How is the idea of a culture of print complicated by 
the continued importance of manuscript circulation (as a private and 
commercial phenomenon)? How did print reshape or reconfigure audiences? 
And what was the place of orality in a world supposedly dominated by 
print textuality? What new forms of chirography and spoken, live 
performances did print enable, if any?

Other possible topics might include:

* Ownership of texts and plagiarism; authorship; "piracy"

* Booksellers and printers, and their local, national, and 
international networks

* Readers and their material and interpretative practices

* Libraries, both personal and institutional

* Beyond the book: ephemeral forms of print and manuscript

* Text and illustration, print and visuality

* Typography, mise en page, binding, and technological advances in 

We invite proposals for conference papers of 20 minutes and encourage 
group-proposals for panels of three papers. Alternative formats such as 
workshops and roundtables will also be considered. Abstracts of 250 
words can be submitted electronically on the conference website,


The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2009.

All questions ought to be addressed to the conference organizers, 
Gregoire Holtz (French, University of Toronto) and Holger Schott Syme 
(English, University of Toronto), at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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