Call for papers: Cultures of the Book: Science, Technology and the Spread of Knowledge

This conference will be of interest to historians of the book, printing and print culture, scientists and technologists who are interested in the book, bibliographers, librarians, conservationists, bibliophiles and book collectors and practitioners including printers, binders and type designers. The conference is not looking at books from aesthetic or literary perspectives but how science and technology have been deployed in book production and how the book itself has been a vehicle for the promotion of science and technology. The conference will cover all periods, regions and cultures and interpreting the ‘book’ widely to include clay tablets, codices, printed texts and electronic media. Both the physicality and culture of the book will be explored. The conference is not only looking at the word, but images as well, including woodcuts, engravings, photographs and digital images.

Subjects can include, but are not limited to:

  • Science, technology and the making of the book, before and after the printing revolution, for example, writing instruments, substrates, ink, punches, presses, type, bindings;

  • The relationship of technology to the appearance of letter forms and images;

  • Science, technology and book conservation;

  • The dissemination of science and technology via the book in manuscript, printed and electronic forms;

  • The consumption and reception of scientific and technological books;

  • The use of technology in storing, moving and transmitting books: for example, the evolution of libraries and shelving, means of transport for distributing books, digital transmission and e-books;

  • The authorship and publishing of science and technology texts.

This event is being organised by the Centre for Printing History and Culture (Birmingham City University and University of Birmingham, United Kingdom) and the Department of Language, Literature and Modern Culture, University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy.

Proposals We are inviting proposals for 20 minute papers and one-hour panel presentations of three people. These proposals should include: For papers: a title; a brief summary of c. 200 words; a brief biography of c. 200 words and full contact details; For panel presentations: a title; an overview of the panel in c. 400 words; brief biographies of c. 200 words each and full contact details.

Proposals should be submitted as word documents and forwarded to caroline.archer@bcu.ac.uk and m.m.dick@bham.ac.uk by 30 April 2019.

Conference Fees There are no conference fees for either speakers or attendees. Speakers will be given free accommodation for two nights at B&B Hotel, Piazza Duca D’Aosta; lunch will provided for the two days; and speakers will also be invited to a conference dinner. Speakers will, however, need to pay their own travel expenses.

Venue: the conference will take place at AURUM, Largo Gardone Riviera, 65126 Pescara.

Dates: 6-7 November 2019

Language: this conference will be conducted in English.