Conferences

Each year SHARP holds an annual conference that brings many scholars together for stimulating discussion of an enormously wide range of issues.

Technologies of the Book (2017)
The annual conference for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing will run from June 9th-12th 2017 in Victoria, BC, Canada, with an optional excursion and extended programming in Vancouver on June 13th. Co-hosted by the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, and University of Victoria Libraries, we look forward to welcoming you to the west coast of Canada for an invigorating few days of scholarship and discussion on the Technologies of the Book.

Recent annual conferences

Les langues du livre / Languages of the Book (2016)
The 24th annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) was held in Paris, France, from Monday 18 July to Thursday 21 July 2016 (Friday 22: excursion). The keynote lectures, panels, and most events took place at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The conference also featured excursions to sites in and around Paris of interest to book historians. Please visit the conference website for more information.

The Generation and Regeneration of Books (2015)
The 23rd annual SHARP conference was be held in Longueuil/Montreal (Canada), Tuesday, 7 July, to Friday, 10 July 2015. Hosted by the Groupe de recherches et d’études sur le livre au Québec, the University of Sherbrooke, McGill University and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, SHARP 2015 was a bilingual event. The program included lectures, keynote addresses, a digital projects showcase, roundtables, lightning papers presented by doctoral students, a poster exhibition featuring the work of master’s students, as well as workshops and excursions.

Religions of the Book (2014)
The 22nd annual SHARP conference was held in Antwerp (Belgium), Wednesday 17 September through Sunday 21 September 2014. The program took place primarily at the University of Antwerp, in the old centre of the city, but included events at different venues of book historical interest as well as pre-conference workshops/tours and excursions. The central theme was ‘Religions of the Book’, but in conformity with tradition the conference also welcomed other book historical papers, sessions and round tables. Sponsors included the Plantin-Moretus Museum, the Hendrik Conscience Library, the Flemish House of Literature, the Antwerp Bibliophile Society, the Museum of Letters & Manuscripts, KBC Banking & Insurance, the Flemish Book Historical Society and the University of Antwerp.

Geographies of the Book (2013)
SHARP’s 2013 Conference was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 18-21.  In addition to the University of Pennsylvania, a number of other Philadelphia Libraries and Archives were represented on the host committee. A conference website was established and more information about the conference theme can be found on the Call for Papers.

The Battle for Books (2012)
In 2012, SHARP’s 20th Annual Conference was hosted by Trinity College, Dublin on June 26-29.

Loretta De Franceschi’s review (in Italian) of the SHARP 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., was published in Bibliologia, 6 (2011), pp.135-66. This can be downloaded using the ‘Scarica Copia Saggio / Download Sample Copy’ from hereBibliologia: An International Journal of Bibliography, Library Science, History of Typography and the Book is published annually. More details can be found here.  SHARP is very grateful to both the author and publisher for providing a free version of this review.

Papers presented at SHARP annual conferences
James Kelly, SHARP’s archivist at the University of Massachusetts, has compiled an illuminating checklist of papers delivered at SHARP conferences since 1993. Recently, he has taken this project further by compiling an even more informative bibliography of published work that has derived, in whole or in part, from SHARP conference papers. If you are the author of such a work, please contact James Kelly.

Focused conferences devoted to special themes and regions are also held under the aegis of SHARP. In March 2015, the Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico, hosted a SHARP focused conference on ‘Print Culture Through the Ages: Writing, Reading and Readers (From the Sixteenth through the Twenty-first Centuries)‘. Newspaper articles about the conference can be read here.

Our first South American focused conference was held in Rio de Janeiro in November 2013.

In June 2012,  the I.D.E.A. (‘Théories et pratiques de l’Interdisciplinarité Dans les Etudes Anglophones’ / Interdisciplinarity in English Studies), the research group of the Nancy-Université English Department, hosted a focused conference on the subject ‘From Text(s) to Book(s)’. This conference provided a forum to discuss the ways in which texts are materialized for consumption by the reading public, both historically and in the contemporary context.

Interested in hosting a focused conference? 

Past and Future Annual Conferences

SHARP has established a practice of holding its annual international conference in alternate years in North America and Europe. Links to past conference programs are given below as well as dates and venues for forthcoming conferences.

1993 New York, New York, USA
1994 Washington, DC, USA
1995 Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
1996 Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
1997 Cambridge, England, UK
1998 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1999 Madison, Wisconsin, USA
2000 Mainz, Germany
2001 Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
2002 London, England, UK
2003 Claremont, California, USA
2004 Lyon, France
2005 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2006 Den Hague/Leiden, The Netherlands
2007 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
2008 Oxford, England, UK
2009 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2010 Helsinki, Finland
2011 Washington, DC, USA
2012 Dublin, Ireland
2013 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (Program)
2014 Antwerp, Belgium (Program)
2015 Longueuil & Montréal, Canada (6-11 July)
2016 Paris (18-21 July)
2017 Victoria, Canada (9-12 June)
2018 Sydney, Australia (26-29 June)

Twitter Archive

2011 Washington, DC, USA (PDF)
2012 Dublin, Ireland (XLS | PDF)
2013 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (XLS | PDF)
2014 Antwerp, Belgium (XLS)
2015 Longueuil & Montréal, Canada (XLS | PDF)
2016 Paris, France (PDF)

SHARP Sponsored Events
Connecting the Colonies: Empires and Networks in the History of the Book
Connecting the Colonies: Empires and Networks in the History of the Book
Call for Papers: The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc (BSANZ) Annual Conference 2017 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 22-24 November 2017 Empires of all kinds – commercial, geo-political, bureaucratic – are defined by their peripheries as well as their centres, by the[ ... ]
Books and Screens and the Reading Brain
Books and Screens and the Reading Brain
From the earliest clay tablets down to the latest touch screens: reading is an interaction of embodied humans with technology. Over time technological developments have caused numerous changes, and even transformations, in reading habits and the reading culture. The introduction[ ... ]
The Author – Wanted, Dead or Alive
The Author – Wanted, Dead or Alive
New perspectives on the concept of authorship, 1700-1900 European University Institute (Florence, Italy) A SHARP Regional Event 5-6 June 2017 Proposals are sought for a workshop aiming to bring together fresh perspectives on the concept of authorship in the period 1700-1900. Especially encouraged are[ ... ]
Radical Book History
Radical Book History
SHARP Affiliate Organization Panel at MLA Radical Book History: People, Archives, Methods Thursday, 5 January 2017, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Franklin 3, Philadelphia Marriott This roundtable will discuss the study of "radical" book trade figures, the use of "radical" methodologies or archives. Digital humanities[ ... ]
Teaching Book History
Teaching Book History
The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) seeks participants for its affiliated society session at the January 5-8, 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Denver, Colorado. Participants will take part in a roundtable[ ... ]
The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
Two sessions on "Movement of Counter-Reformation Orthodoxy and Ideologies" and "Bureaucracy, Knowledge, and the Book in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America" will be held at the 2015 meeting of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (SCSC), October 22-25, in Vancouver, BC.[ ... ]