Call for Papers – 19th Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop: “The Whole Book” (Feb. 2-3, 2024)

19th Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop
“The Whole Book”
February 2-3, 2023

The nineteenth annual Marco Manuscript Workshop will take place Friday, February 2, and Saturday, February 3, 2024, in person at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The workshop is organized by Professor Roy M. Liuzza (English) and is hosted by the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

This year’s workshop explores the idea of “the whole book.” Most early texts do not appear on their own, but are copied with other texts, bundled and bound in groups, and put between covers with any number of related and unrelated works. Even after a book is made it can be added to, subtracted from, edited, emended, annotated, censored, damaged, or broken up into smaller books. As modern readers, our usual impulse is to try to restore a text to some pristine original state fresh from the author’s pen, which often means ignoring or stripping away the layers of history to be found in the surviving copies of the text. But the manuscript, however far removed it may be from the author, is always the most immediate context of a work; what can it tell us about the work’s origins, its history, and its meaning to the people who made it, read it, and copied it? What can we tell about a work by the strange company it has kept, the glosses and notes it has accumulated, even the damage it has sustained? How does putting a text back into its manuscript context help us understand it? As always, we welcome presentations on any aspect of this topic, broadly imagined, or on any other aspect of manuscripts, epigraphy, and the history of writing.

The workshop is open to scholars and graduate students in any field who are engaged in textual editing, manuscript studies, or epigraphy. Individual 75-minute sessions will be devoted to each project; participants will be asked to introduce their text and its context, discuss their approach to working with their material, and exchange ideas and information with other participants. As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more like a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and frustrations, to offer practical advice and theoretical insights, and to work together towards developing better professional skills for textual and codicological work. We particularly invite the presentation of works in progress, unusual problems, practical difficulties, and new or experimental models for studying or representing manuscript texts. Presenters will receive a $500 honorarium for their participation.

The deadline for applications is November 3, 2023. Applicants are asked to submit a current CV and a two-page abstract of their project to Roy M. Liuzza via email to or, or by mail to the Department of English, University of Tennessee, 301 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430.

The workshop is also open at no cost to scholars and students who do not wish to present their own work but are interested in sharing a lively weekend of discussion and ideas about manuscript studies. Further details will be available later in the year; please contact the Marco Institute at or visit for more information.

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