Call for Papers – The Pre-Modern Book in a Global Context: Materiality and Visuality

Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Binghamton University
The Pre-Modern Book in a Global Context: Materiality and Visuality
October 21 and 22, 2016

The twenty-first century has witnessed the transformation of the study of the history of the book. Technology has given us new methods for the study of papyri, manuscripts, and early printed books: everything from x-rays to DNA analysis now provides data regarding the production and use of the book in the pre-modern era. In addition, digital humanities now allows for the precise capture and reproduction of texts in all their visual specificity as well as the compilation of vast databases for “distant reading.”  Yet, as any scholar of the book recognizes, these artifacts retain an aura that technology cannot duplicate or fully explain: an encounter with a pre-modern book is an encounter with a textual presence in all its ineffable alterity.

The year 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) at Binghamton University; in celebration of fifty years of research in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, CEMERS will host a conference on the materiality and visuality of the pre-modern book (from late antiquity until 1600). Papers are invited on all aspects of the book as artifact.  The conference aims to bring together the sub-disciplines currently involved in the history of the book in order to facilitate inter-disciplinary dialogue.

Papers should be twenty minutes in length.  Send abstracts (with a brief cv) to (with subject line History of the Book).  For further information, contact Marilynn Desmond, Director, CEMERS, Deadline: April 15, 2016.

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