Call for Proposals – “Reading the Whole Book: Object Interpretation”

Call for Proposals
“Reading the Whole Book: Object Interpretation”
Session Organizer: Lauren Jennings (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Saturday, 14 October 2017, 10:45am–12:15pm
Bibliography Among the Disciplines Conference
12–15 October 2017, Philadelphia, PA

This panel takes as its premise the idea that far from being a neutral container, the whole book and its ‘matrix’—physical form, contents, makers, readers, and history of use—are fundamental to the construction of meaning. By exploring the relationships between texts (broadly conceived) and the books and manuscripts in which they take form as material objects, we seek to highlight intersections between textual criticism, codicology, paleography, and bibliography. Of particular interest are proposals that address the following: How does a book’s physical structure (collation, format, etc.) shape the reading experience? What can analysis of one (or more) specific aspects of a book’s material form (binding, support material, ink and pigments, etc) tell us about the reception of a given text and/or about its creator’s authorial status? Submissions from scholarly professionals in a wide range of fields and disciplines (e.g., literary studies, musicology, history, art history, curation, conservation, book arts, the rare book trade, etc.) are welcome. Presentations that are interdisciplinary in approach and subject matter are especially encouraged. During this conference session, three participants will give 20-minute presentations, followed by a half-hour discussion led by a moderator.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 500 words by 25 October 2016 at:

Bibliography Among the Disciplines, a four-day international conference, will bring together scholarly professionals poised to address current problems pertaining to the study of textual artifacts that cross scholarly, pedagogical, professional, and curatorial domains. The conference will explore theories and methods common to the object-oriented disciplines, such as anthropology and archaeology, but new to bibliography. The program aims to promote focused cross-disciplinary exchange and future scholarly collaborations. Bibliography Among the Disciplines is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and organized by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School. For more information, please visit:

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