Call for Papers and Workshops:
The Past, Present, and Future of the Book

The explosion of new digital book technologies – smart phones, tablets, print-to-order self-publishing sites, and so forth – has paradoxically energized more traditional studies of the book. The academic field tends to be divided into Book History (English and History), Book Arts (Art and English), Digital Books (Computer Science, Business, Sociology), and Cognition and Reading (Psychology, Education, Library Studies): each of these areas of interest is brimming with new scholarship as well as public interest.

In practice, the subfields overlap, and exciting things are happening at the intersections. To foreground these intersections and explore the pedagogical potential of Book Studies and Book Art, we invite paper and poster presentations, round-table discussions, and book-art workshops from scholars, artists, and librarians interested in the past, present, and future of the book. Proposals by collaborative student-faculty teams or by faculty from different disciplines are especially welcome.

Possible presentation and round-table topics include but are not limited to:

  • Textual studies of manuscripts, early printed, or art books
  • Pedagogies involving manuscripts, early printed, or art books
  • Illustrations and illuminations and their relationship to text
  • Marginalia, glosses, and technologies of reading
  • Cultural support and censorship of book production
  • Book fetishism
  • Books and cognition
  • Books and (historical) memory
  • Book preservation
  • Publication mechanisms, digital books, and/or the social life of books
  • The ends of reading/the end of reading
  • Religious and secular theories of the book
  • Recent developments in Book Arts
  • Production, distribution, and reception of particular texts

Possibilities for workshops include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating digital editions
  • Book binding
  • Chapbooks
  • Papermaking
  • Marbling
  • Altered books

All sessions will be 90 minutes in length; paper sessions in particular will include three twenty minute papers and a discussion period.

Abstracts are not to exceed 400 words. Paper and round-table proposals must specify special equipment needs. Workshop proposals must clearly identify facilities and materials needed; they must also include an estimate of supply costs per participant.

All proposals must be submitted through the website by September 30, 2011. A preliminary program will be announced in mid October, when registration will open. If you have any questions about appropriateness of materials and proposals, please contact us (

Registration is free for ACM faculty, staff, and students. Lodging, meals, and materials for participants will be covered by a grant. Travel subsidies are available for ACM participants. For participants not affiliated with the ACM, the registration fee of $60 will cover meals and all materials.

« Previous Page