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

The next annual conference will be:

SHARP 2023 “Affordances and Interfaces: Textual Interaction Past, Present and Future” June 26-29, 2023

SHARP 2023 will take place everywhere! Hosted by the Centre of the Book at the University of Otago, New Zealand, this global online conference will run over three days. See the Call for Papers and conference website for more information on this conference.

Recent annual conferences

The Power of the Written Word (2022)
SHARP 2022 took place online and in person from July 11 to 15 at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The conference explored how and to what extent the power of the written word has manifested itself in past, present and future. At the conference, Leslie Howsam was recognized with a special Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Moving Texts: From Discovery to Delivery (2021)
SHARP 2021 took place July 26 to July 30, hosted by the Chair of Book Studies at the University of Muenster, Germany, and in collaboration with the SFB 1385 Law and Literature. The conference theme addressed the complex and fluid networks between authors and readers and focused on processes of displaying, discovery, distribution and delivery, today and throughout history. “Moving Texts” was SHARP’s first virtual conference.

SHARP in Focus (2020)
In lieu of an annual conference, SHARP in Focus was a week of virtual events running June 15 through June 19.

The Power of the Written Word (2020)
SHARP 2020: The Power of the Written Word, was set to take place at the University of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, June 15 to 19.
This conference was postponed due to COVID-19.

Indigeneity, Nationhood, and Migrations of the Book (2019)
SHARP 2019 took place July 15 to 19 at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, USA.

From First to Last: Texts, Creators, Readers, Agents (2018)
SHARP 2018 was hosted by the Western Sydney University Library between 9 and 12 July 2018 and was the first time that the annual conference was held outside of Europe and North America in its 25-year history. The theme “From First to Last” – of origins, endings and renewals – acknowledged book history’s expansion worldwide across disciplines, cultures and languages.

Technologies of the Book (2017)
The 25th annual conference for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing was held between 9 and 12 June 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, the conference welcomed delegates to the west coast of Canada for an invigorating few days of scholarship and discussion on the Technologies of the Book.

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? 

Affordances and Interfaces: Textual Interactions Past, Present and Future

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 July)
2018 Sydney, Australia (9-13 July)
2019 Amherst, Massachusetts, USA (15-19 July)
2021 Muenster, Germany (26-30 July)
2022 Amsterdam, the Netherlands (11-15 July)

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)
2017 Victoria, Canada: #sharp2017 (XLS | PDF) #sharp17 (XLS | PDF) #sharpat25 (XLS | PDF)
2018 Sydney, Australia: #sharp18 (XLS | PDF) #sharp2018 (XLS | PDF)