CALL FOR PAPERS
Book Culture from Below
The conference theme Book Culture from Below emphasizes the book culture of peasants, the laboring classes and other under-represented and oppressed groups, especially their independence and initiative in creating, using and deciphering printed works and print culture. In keeping with the SHARP spirit, we welcome proposals on all aspects of book history, but especially those that address issues and questions related to the conference theme, for example:
- How can the ”from below” perspective be applied to book history? How does this perspective intersect with class, race, gender and ideology?
- Who are the readers, writers, publishers and distributors ”from below”? Which forms of authorship and educational practices have been available to them?
- How can differences and interactions among educated, autodidactic and uneducated readers, writers and publishers be conceptualized?
- How can the various forms of literacy and illiteracy be recognized and analyzed?
- Which kinds of writings and publications are relevant for studying book culture from below? Which bibliographical and book history methods and approaches can we use to study them?
- How can the complex interaction between folklore and book culture, orality and literacy be re-evaluated? What are the functions of the manuscript medium in relation to the oral and the printed media?
- What are the intersections of subaltern and post-colonial studies with book history?
- In which ways does the ”from below”-perspective challenge hegemonic national histories? What are the possibilities of transnational studies in this field?
We invite not only researchers of print culture but also those studying manuscripts (whether medieval or modern era) to the conference.
The conference is open to both individual presentations and complete panel proposals (including three speakers and a chairperson). Each speaker will be given 20 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. All sessions will last 90 minutes. The proposals should be sent in English, which is the main language of the conference.
The deadline for submissions was 30 November 2009, and the official on-line submission process is now closed. No proposals will be considered after the deadline.
Participants must be members of SHARP in order to present at the conference. It is the responsibility of presenters to ensure that they are members by the time of the registration. For information on membership, please visit the SHARP website at www.sharpweb.org.
SHARP is able to provide a limited number of travel grants to graduate students and independent scholars. If you wish to be considered for such a grant, please state this when submitting your proposal.
For more information, please visit the conference’s website at
The conference website and information can also be found via