CALL FOR PAPERS Authorial Publishing in the Middle Ages, c.400-1500

18–19 July 2022, Jesus College, Oxford, UK

Textual transmission relies on the fact of ‘publication’, inherent in the authorial process. With no appreciation of the act of publishing, our understanding of any authorial work from any period will remain defective. But what does ‘publishing’ mean in the context of a manuscript culture, in which books were copied slowly and singly by hand? What did it mean to ‘publish’ a new work in the Middle Ages? This conference will explore the strategies by which medieval authors sought to obtain audiences for their works.

We invite proposals for pertinent discussions from a variety of perspectives. Focuses may include, but are not limited to, networks by which authors circulated their works, literary devices to attract potential readers, and the material evidence of publication such as autographs and their primary copies. Also, papers on authors who published their works both in manuscript and print are welcome.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Please submit a proposal of no more than 250 words to Samu Niskanen (, to be received by 10 October 2021.

Professor Daniel Hobbins (Notre Dame) and Professor Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) will read keynotes.


The conference is funded by the ERC project Medieval Publishing from c.1000 to 1500 and the Academy of Finland project Authorial Publication in Early Medieval Europe, c.400–1000. Speakers will be entitled to accommodation in college (three nights, 17–20 July), with lunches on Monday and Tuesday. There will be a conference dinner on Monday. Travel costs are not covered.


This conference has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 716538).