Crisis or Enlightenment? Developments in the Book Trade, 1650-1750. St Andrews Book Conference, 20-22 June 2019

It has never been questioned that the European Enlightenment was made by books. The intellectual movement which swept across Europe and the Atlantic world from the end of the seventeenth century was fostered, expressed and realised by a sophisticated international market for books. Complex ventures such as Bayle’s Dictionnaire and the ever-expanding number of periodicals indicate that authors and intellectuals were keenly aware of print as a powerful tool. Yet did the book trade reciprocate this enthusiasm? How far did the book market embrace the Enlightenment, and how important were the great intellectual currents of the day to the everyday business of books?

The relationship between the nascent Enlightenment and the organisation of the book trade stands central to this conference. It will seek to expose general developments in European and Atlantic book trade practices from c. 1650-1750, coinciding roughly with the “Early Enlightenment”, in order to refine our understanding of the interplay between intellectual currents and the market for print.

The provisional programme is available here.

Registration is now open here

For further information please contact the organisers, Arthur der Weduwen ( and Ann-Marie Hansen (

The conference has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of the USTC, the School of History of the University of St Andrews and the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing.


Of Prophets and Saints: Literary Traditions and “convivencia” in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia

The international workshop will be held in Madrid on February 22 and 23, 2018 to explore religious literature that originated under the particular conditions of “convivencia” in the societies of medieval and early modern Iberia.  The participants will employ comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to open new perspectives on how the coexistence of Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities on the Iberian Peninsula is reflected in their respective literary traditions.  The focus will be on works concerning prophets and saints.  The workshop is open to the public, with the exception of a show & tell on Thursday afternoon (*).  But a RSVP will be requested because seating is limited.

Benito Rial Costas (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Dagmar Anne Riedel (CCHS-CSIC & Columbia University)

Conference secretary
Amy Meverden (Union Theological Seminary in City of New York)

Confirmed participants
Matthew Anderson (Georgetown University)
Fernando Baños (Universidad de Alicante)
Javier Castaño (CCHS-CSIC)
Manuela Ceballos (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Maribel Fierro (CCHS-CSIC)
Alejandro García Sanjuán (Universidad de Huelva)
Araceli González (IMF-CSIC)
Racheli Haliva (Universität Hamburg)
Patrick Henriet (EPHE)
Amir Hussein (Loyola Marymount University)
Fabrizio Lelli (Università del Salento)
Nuria Martínez de Castilla (EPHE)
Lucia Raspe (Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main & Jüdisches Museum Berlin)
Patrick Ryan (Fordham University)
Claude Stuzcyinski (Bar Ilan University)
Jesús R. Velasco (Columbia University)
Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

22 February  2018, Biblioteca Histórica “Marqués de Valdecilla” (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

9.00-11.30      PANEL 1:  Historiographical Challenges of “convivencia”

12.00-14.00    PANEL 2:  Concepts of Sanctity & Prophecy

*16.00-18.00   Show & Tell in the library’s reading room restricted to the participants  not open to the public!

23 February 2018, Residencia de Estudiantes (CSIC)

9.00-13.30      PANEL 3:  Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Examples of Literature about and by Saints and Prophets from Medieval and Early Modern Iberia

15.30-17.30    PANEL 4:  Diachronic Case Study of the Kitāb al-shifāʾ bi-taʿrīf huqūq al-Muṣṭafā (“The book of healing concerning the recognition of the true facts about the chosen one”) by al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ (1083-1149)

17.45-19.00    PANEL 5:  Concluding Roundtable

Third Colloquium on Argentine Periodicals

National University of La Plata, Buenos Aires, 6-7 December 2017

Directoras: Verónica Delgado, Geraldine Rogers

Comité organizador: Margarita Merbilháa, Verónica Stedile Luna, María de los Ángeles Mascioto, Víctor Gonnet, Iván Suasnábar, Laura Giaccio

Días: 6 y 7 de diciembre de 2017

Lugar: Aula C 201, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, calle 51 entre 124 y 125, Ensenada.

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 flows of information that maintain or destabilise their structures of authority and control.

BSANZ, in collaboration with SHARP, the Society for the History of Authorship Reading and Publishing, invites scholars and researchers to consider the printed word, the book, and texts of all kinds, as both mechanism and matter of transmission.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any matters of bibliographical interest, traditional and contemporary. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Commercial empires: the book as a commodity in colonial contexts
  • Across boundaries: print networks across geo-political, commercial or bureaucratic borders
  • The trans-temporal: the afterlife of books and re-imagining of ideas
  • Indigenous cultures, frontier encounters, and the presence or absence of print
  • The stuff of legend: the role of print in constructing colonial and imperial consciousness
  • The book as treasured possession: emotion, ownership and display

Proposals for three-person panel discussions are also welcome.

Some financial assistance towards travel costs may be available for postgraduate students who are presenting papers. Please enquire when submitting your proposal, and include a brief budget outlining your anticipated travel costs.

Proposals – including, a 250-word abstract title of paper, name and institutional affiliation of each author, a brief biography of each author, email address of each author, and 3-5 keywords – should be sent to the convenor, Ian Morrison

Presenters must be members of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand. The deadline for submissions is Friday 31 March 2017.

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 of the rotary press together with industrial paper production in the nineteenth century, for example, made available cheap reading materials for the masses. This was followed by a tremendous growth not just in the number of readers but, more significantly, in the demographics of the reading public. By contrast, in the course of the second half of twentieth century, notably after the introduction of television, many unskilled readers stopped reading books.

Similarly, the current wholesale adoption of digital screens – in educational as well as leisure settings – has begun to affect our reading habits. Screens offer a substitute for reading from paper, but equally offer viewing, gaming and listening opportunities on the same device, not to mention the constant lure of the social media. This increases screen time, offering strong competition for people’s leisure time and reducing time spent on sustained (book) reading. It also raises urgent questions concerning small-and large-scale effects of technology on educational outcomes. There is evidence that screens change the reading experience in terms of memory and (in the case of fiction) transportation. It is also likely that digital texts are simply taken less seriously than texts on paper to begin with. Together with the 24/7 availability of huge amounts of searchable information, these and other changes will no doubt affect how we think about knowledge and information. It promotes just-in-time information gathering rather than memorising of facts, and thinking in terms of smaller fragments of information rather than longer chunks that have already been synthesised into knowledge.

The multidisciplinary EU COST E-READ Action, running between November 2014 and November 2018 has fostered a great deal of empirical research on the effects of the wholesale adoption of screens for reading. The conference ‘Books and screens and the reading brain’ is intended to showcase some of the preliminary findings. What really changes and why? But these findings also need contextualisation, relating them to the history and present practice of reading and the social history of literacy. They invite pondering the next questions. Issues the conference proposes to address include (but are not confined to):

  • Empirical evidence of reading practices, e.g., book industry statistics; library statistics; media use/time-spending surveys;
  • How are we to interpret the outcomes of empirical research and what are their implications for the future of reading and the role of reading in education?
  • Relations between different formats (e.g., hardcover vs softcover; print vs screen) and reading practices;
  • The history and present use of books and digital learning tools in education and their relative effectiveness;
  • The changing status and social position of reading for various purposes, such as learning and leisure;
  • The changing definition of literacy;
  • The changing historiography of reading and development of research instruments.

Conference place

  • Vilnius University (Lithuania).

Conference language

  • English.

Key dates

  • 1 March 2017: Final deadline for proposals for individual papers and/or sessions.
  • 1 May 2017: Notification of acceptance.
  • 29 May 2017: Deadline for registration of participants.
  • 27 September 2017: Opening of the conference.

Submission guideline/Registration

Please submit proposals and register online through the website of the conference ( Time allocated for papers, 20 minutes. Proposals for individual papers must include a title, an abstract (max. 150 words), and a short biography of the presenter (max. 50 words). Articles based on the papers probably will be published in COST Action E-READ special publication and Vilnius University peer reviewed, open access scholarly journal „Knygotyra“ (Book Science) volumes of the year 2018. Conference fee – 200 Euros. There is a reduced rate of 150 Euros for SHARP members and 100 Euros for PhD students. Conference is free for EU COST E-READ Action members.


  • Participants are responsible for their own accommodation during the conference.


Correspondence address

  • Institute of Book Science and Documentation Faculty of Communication Vilnius University Saulėtekio av. 9 LT–10222 Vilnius, Lithuania

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 submissions which focus on marginal or ‘accidental’ authors, examine the authorial roles of publishers, printers and other actors, deal critically with the notion of authorship from a broader methodological, historiographical or theoretical angle, or consider non-European and colonial contexts. Possible additional topics include: transnational or comparative aspects of book production and authorship; processes of self-presentation; constraints on authorial agency; legal frameworks such as censorship and copyright; the commercialization and marketing of authors; the uses and meanings of anonymous or pseudonymous publication.

The two-day workshop will take place at the European University Institute in Florence on 5-6 June 2017. Abstracts of 300 words should be sent by 31 January 2017 to, including an updated CV and contact information. Participants will receive notification of acceptance no later than 15 February 2017.

Bursaries for graduate students, sponsored by SHARP, are available to help with travel expenses. Applicants should indicate their interest in these bursaries along with their abstracts.

Any further questions about the event, funding or the application process should be directed to the organizing committee, Matilda Greig (, John-Erik Hansson ( and Mikko Toivanen (

Click here to view / download the flyer.

Manuzio in Spain

We take great pleasure in announcing the forthcoming SHARP-sponsored colloquium “Manuzio in Spain”. The Colloquium will be held at the Historical Library of the University Complutense of Madrid, on 10 April 2015. The event has been organised by our very own liaison to the Iberian region, Benito Rial Costas, and by Antonio Carpallo Bautista. Supporting organizations include SHARP; Asociación Española de Bibliografía, Bibliopegia (Univ. Complutense); and Biblioteca Histórica. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In conjunction, the library will also be presenting a micro-exhibition that includes some of its material from the press of Aldus Manuzio. The language of the presentations will be Spanish. For more details, please download the programme or view it below. Those with interests in Aldus Manutius may be interested in the Manutius network page at CERL: Consortium of European Research Libraries.


Segundo Coloquio sobre Publicaciones Periódicas Argentinas

Centro de Estudios de Teoría y Crítica Literaria (CTCL)
Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (IdIHCS)
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad Nacional de La Plata Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)

2 al 4 de diciembre de 2015

Comité científico
Verónica Delgado (Idihcs, UNLP-CONICET)
Geraldine Rogers (CONICET / UNLP)

En diciembre de 2013 realizamos el Primer coloquio sobre publicaciones periódicas argentinas. El encuentro reunió en el rectorado de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata a un grupo de veintitrés investigadores, formados y en formación, de distintas disciplinas y de varias instituciones universitarias y centros de investigación, con trabajos en curso sobre revistas, diarios, suplementos semanales y otras formas de publicación periódica en la Argentina de los dos últimos siglos (XIX y XX). La participación de los expositores a lo largo de esas dos jornadas hizo posible el intercambio de información, la discusión de avances y perspectivas metodológicas.

El libro colectivo Tramas impresas: publicaciones periódicas argentinas (XIX-XX) (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 2014, ISBN 978-950-34-1163-6, en prensa) es producto de aquel encuentro, donde se discutieron las versiones iniciales de cada capítulo.

En diciembre de 2015 llevaremos a cabo el Segundo coloquio sobre publicaciones periódicas argentinas, como continuidad y profundización de la tarea iniciada hace dos años, fundada en la relevancia del estudio de las publicaciones periódicas para la comprensión integral de los procesos culturales. Como señalamos en aquella oportunidad, diversos análisis muestran que no son simples contenedoras de textos e imágenes (fuentes documentales para el estudio de autores o ideas) sino formas específicas de la cultura impresa de la modernidad, cuya complejidad y relevancia las vuelve objetos de estudio en sí mismas. Advertir su densa materialidad equivale a descubrir una dimensión que excede en mucho su consideración como meros vehículos de textos e imágenes. Estudiarlas como bienes simbólicos elaborados colectivamente obliga a pensar la significación que adquirieron los grupos nucleados alrededor de ellas (o que circularon a través de ellas) atendiendo tanto a las prácticas específicas como a sus relaciones con procesos sociales de carácter más general.

El coloquio tiene como objetivo generar un espacio de discusión interdisciplinar sobre revistas, diarios, suplementos semanales y otras formas de publicación periódica en la Argentina de los dos últimos siglos. Se busca crear un ámbito productivo para las investigaciones actuales y futuras, favoreciendo el intercambio de información sobre recursos disponibles o en desarrollo (acervos hemerográficos, medios técnicos), la exposición de avances de investigación y el debate sobre perspectivas metodológicas. El encuentro contribuirá también a relevar cuestiones que podrían abordarse a través de una cooperación más sistemática.

Condiciones de participación y aspectos organizativos

Este coloquio está destinado a un grupo de 30 investigadores, formados y en formación, con líneas de trabajo (sobre publicaciones periódicas argentinas de los siglos XIX y XX) afines a los propósitos de este evento. Todos los participantes serán convocados por el comité científico.

Se trata de una reunión científica no arancelada, concebida como un espacio de intercambio genuino. En función de la muy positiva experiencia del Primer coloquio, buscamos preservar la participación activa en los debates a lo largo de las jornadas.

El encuentro se desarrollará en la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata a lo largo de tres jornadas de trabajo (sin mesas paralelas) los días miércoles 2, jueves 3 y viernes 4 de diciembre de 2015.

Los participantes deberán confirmar su participación antes del 30 de junio de 2015 enviando un título y un resumen del trabajo.

Cada expositor contará con 15 minutos para presentar su ponencia y 15 minutos para la discusión posterior.

La versión final de los trabajos se publicará en 2016 en un libro de acceso abierto, con ISBN y propiedad intelectual registrada, en la web de la Facultad de Humanidades.

Correo para envío de resúmenes:

The Minority Book

International Book Science Conference
“The Minority Book: Historical Experiences and Modern Expressions in the Global World”
24-25 September 2015, Vilnius

With long traditions of printing and book culture, Vilnius was an important centre for book publishing and production in the Eastern part of the Central Europe for hundreds of years. Coexisting side by side, a wide range of book worlds evolved and developed in the city, each defined by the traditions of different religious and ethno-confessional communities, along with their information and communication needs. Due to changing political, economic and cultural conditions in different historical stages, the culture and publishing of the minority book developed new forms and expressions over the ages. The situation illustrated in Lithuania is representative of the typical traditions of publishing activity features of small countries and of minorities. These changes and differences are important for the harmonious development of societies in the global world.

The Book Science and Documentation Institute of the Faculty of Communication at Vilnius University is kindly inviting you to take part in the International Book Science Conference “The minority book: historical experiences and modern expressions in the global world”, which is planned for 24–25 September 2015 at Vilnius University. This will be the 23rd Vilnius Book Science Conference and it will be organised together with the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing and The Nordic-Baltic-Russian Network on the History of Books, Libraries and Reading. SHARP unites scholars of different disciplines conducting book studies and is a global network for book historians working in a broad range of scholarly disciplines. Based in the Baltic and Nordic states, HIBOLIRE is also a multinational and multidisciplinary network of book scholars  focussing on book history, reading history and library history.

 The 2015 conference will deal with broad issues from within the minority book culture and publishing history, as well as the challenges of modern times. The organizers of the conference hope that it will be attended by researchers studying printed and digital media creation, publishing, production, distribution and reception, as well as their expression in small social groups and communities. Contributions to the conference in these fields could influence the emergence and development of the relevant research of the minority book and publishing in the Baltic region, as well as in other European states and other countries.

The organizers of the conference relate the concept of minorities with the ethnic, confessional, cultural, social, linguistic and other types of social groupings and communities. Their book and print cultures are understood as a phenomenon that existed in different historical contexts, but have acquired increasing significance in the global world of our times. Thus, research in this thematic area becomes especially relevant for the modernity.

The call for the papers on the minority book covers the following topics:

  • Multilingual worlds of book in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania;
  • The book of small European nations in the modern society of the 19th century;
  • The renaissance of the regional (ethnic) community book in the 20th and 21st centuries;
  • Book publishing and culture in ethno-confessional communities in Europe (for example, Jewish, Tatar, Karaim and Old Believers’ books in Lithuania);
  • Alternative modes of publishing in different historical periods (collectable books, artists’ books, self-publishing, illegal publishing, publishing books in alternative formats, etc.);
  •  Publishing by emigrants’ communities in national and other languages;
  • Small country publishing in the global world.

Conference languages

Preferred presentations language is English. Presentations in Lithuanian and Russian also can be considered (please contact organizers for simultaneous translation during the conference)

Women & 19C Literature

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
Hosted by Victoria University of Wellington and the Alexander Turnbull Library
23 January 2015

This one-day conference will explore the theme of women and nineteenth-century literature from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Please visit our website for more information. Topics include:

  • New approaches to canonical women writers (Austen, Mary Shelley, the Brontës, Gaskell, and many others)
  • Women and the Gothic in nineteenth-century writing
  • Nineteenth-century New Zealand women’s writing (Māori, Pākehā and tauiwi)
  • Women and genre in nineteenth-century writing
  • The depiction of women in nineteenth-century writing
  • Nineteenth-century women readers
  • Nineteenth-century women writers and their connections to earlier or later periods
  • New archives and sources for nineteenth-century writing and their connection to women