Générations et régénérations du livre
The Generation and Regeneration of Books
The 23rd annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) will 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 is a bilingual event. The program will include 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.
Models of revolution or conquest shape much of the general discourse on the history of the book, despite the fact that many excellent studies, in their details, demonstrate quite the opposite, showing rather the continuity and gradual migration of forms and practices in book culture. Oral story, manuscript, printed book, newspaper, e-book: each is reborn in the next in ways that more often than not amount to a complex accumulation rather than a clean replacement. In this sense, books and the book trade itself may be likened to genes, which both perpetuate themselves and change; they recombine with themselves while altering in response to their environment. SHARP 2015 presents the following challenge to the world book history community: can we reconsider the history of the book using models of transition, permeation, rebirth, inheritance, and/or organic transformation? How do books, book cultures, or book systems spread and readapt? What comes into view (or what fades) if a conceptual model of generational change is brought to bear on the question of how books are made? Are there areas in which a kind of revolutionary model is still appropriate?
Canada, the host country, suggests a rich example of the theme of generation and regeneration. As History of the Book in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2004–7) observes, the 1960s witnessed a rebirth of authorship and publishing. Population growth, economic prosperity, decolonization, and humanitarian ideals intersected in ways that offered the postwar generation the opportunity, which many previous ones had desired, to repatriate the structures of print culture and thus to steer all kinds of literature in new directions. There followed a reinvention of oneself and the world, and if any single event captured the optimistic spirit of the time, it was surely Expo ’67, the international exposition in which Montreal and the cities surrounding debuted as a cosmopolitan, outward-looking centre of Québécois and Canadian culture. In striking ways, Montreal announced itself a centre of books; and yet this change must be understood in sequence with many prior ones, for publishers had been busy here since Fleury Mesplet established the city’s first press in 1776.
The theme of the generation and regeneration of books can be approached from at least three broad perspectives:
1. Evolution in the form of books
- How does a work change from one edition or medium to another?
- How does one kind of book owe its form to another, in whole or in part?
- How is the form of books imagined?
- What external forces or lines of influence can we discern behind the creation of books?
- What effect have generational changes had on books and on the book trade as a whole?
2. Adaptation and innovation in practices of authorship, publishing, and reading
- What patterns of international influence can be revealed by comparing contents (text or illustrations), genres, and techniques of bookmaking across space and time?
- What is the cultural, technological, political, or other milieu in which a given work has taken shape or circulated?
- How have authorship, publishing, and reading changed from one place, age, or social position to another?
- What is the relation between the local small press and the global media corporation?
- What is the relation between the laws that govern books (e.g., copyright, censorship) and changing cultures of production and reception?
3. Generational change in the field of book history
- How is the history of the book continuing/changing (e.g., bibliographic approaches to computer code)?
- How does the concern with place – with a particular city, region, state, or continent – continue to structure book history?
- How well is the history of the book synthesizing scholarship in different languages?
- How can the history of the book use contributions (conceptual, methodological, etc.) from other disciplines?
- How can the history of the book benefit from the contributions of professional and documentary environments?
Proposals on any aspect of book history or print culture in any region or time period may be submitted, but preference may be given to those that engage in some way with the conference theme. Basic audiovisual technology (local computer, data projector, screen) will be supplied.
SHARP 2015 will be an officially bilingual event. Proposals may be submitted in either English or French. Conference materials will be made available in both languages and panels comprising papers in both are welcome.
Conference Papers. Presentations must not exceed 20 minutes in length and will generally take place in panels of three. Proposals for traditional individual scholarly presentations must include:
- a title and an abstract (max. 400 words);
- a biography of the presenter (max. 100 words).
Panels. Proposals for panels (comprising 3 papers) organized in advance by the presenters themselves will be received favourably. Panel proposals must include, for each participant, the elements listed above, and:
- a cover letter (max. 300 words) indicating the title of the panel and the theme. The format of the panel should also be described if it will depart from the norm of three individual presentations.
Lightning Papers. PhD students have the choice of submitting a proposal for a lightning paper. A segment of the program will be reserved for lightning papers. These are intended to offer students currently enrolled in a doctoral program a privileged space in which to present their current research. Lightning papers should not exceed ten minutes and may be accompanied by a maximum of three slides. Proposals for lightning papers should follow the same submission protocol as conference papers.
The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2014. The proposals must be submitted online. Program decisions will be announced in February 2015.
Membership in SHARP is mandatory for all those delivering papers at the conference. Membership is not necessary for the submission of a proposal, but those whose proposals are accepted must join SHARP or renew their membership for 2015–16 before registering for the conference.
A limited amount of travel funding will be available on request for students and independent scholars. Applicants should indicate if they would like to be considered for such funding when submitting their proposal.
SHARP 2015 Digital Projects Showcase – Call for Papers
Longueuil and Montreal, 7 – 10 July
Submissions are invited for the third SHARP Digital Projects Showcase. The Showcase is an exhibition of initiatives that use new technology to advance research in the history of the book. It is open to both individual researchers and research teams at any stage of career, from graduate students to senior scholars. Eligible digital projects may be aimed at intellectual creation, scholarly collaboration, data visualization, research dissemination, etc. Preference may be given to submissions that are in keeping with the wider conference theme, “the Generation and Regeneration of Books / Générations et régénérations du livre.” The Showcase will have a dedicated slot in the conference schedule. The purpose is to create a broad forum in which to display and discuss the tools that are shaping our understanding of the book in the twenty-first century.
Proposals should include:
- a title and description of the digital project (max. 400 words);
- the name, affiliation, and biography (max. 100 words) of the presenters;
- a specification of any desired audiovisual technology.
Presenters must come with their own hardware. On-site support will include Internet access, Ethernet cables, extension cords, tables, and chairs; requests for audiovisual technology will be fulfilled as space and budgetary constraints permit.
Deadline for submission: 30 November 2014.