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The Reading Experience Database (RED), 1450–1945

RED Letter: The Newsletter of the Reading Experience Database


Edited by Rosalind Crone and Katie Halsey

Since the last newsletter (SUMMER 2007), when we announced the online launch of the Reading Experience Database (, much of the RED team’s energy has been devoted to consolidating, maintaining and improving the resource, as well as keeping the RED website ( updated with relevant publications, useful links and forthcoming events in the field of the history of reading. We have also been attending conferences, writing papers, beginning the preparations for the RED conference, and preparing for the new academic year, when we hope that RED will begin to be used more widely as a scholarly and teaching resource.

This edition of the newsletter heralds a new departure: the inclusion of a brief article by one of our volunteer researchers.  A-level student Laura Lambert joined the RED project on work experience this August, reading through the memoirs of Flora Thompson, chronicler of English village life, and the autobiography of Hannah Mitchell, suffragette and rebel.  Her essay, ‘“How fared the growth of this child's mind?”: Childhood Reading in the Reading Experience Database, 1450-1945’, the result of this research, discusses the topic of childhood reading, and can be found here. We are very grateful to Laura for all her contributions.

I would also like to say a special word of thanks to Lindsey Eckert, who joined us as a volunteer Research Assistant over the summer. She took on the considerable project of transcribing the letters and commonplace books of Lady Caroline Lamb, and other material in the John Murray Archives in the National Library of Scotland. The Lamb material is a delight – Lady Caroline is one of the database’s most spirited readers, and it is fascinating to trace her relationship with Byron through her comments on his work. Take, for example, this criticism of Byron’s verses ‘She walks in beauty like the night’, written to his cousin, Mrs. Wilmot after the end of his affair with Lady Caroline:

‘She walks in beauty like the night,’ for example – if Mr. Twiss had written it how we should have laughed! Now we can only weep to see how little just judgement there is on earth, for I make no doubt the name of Byron will give even these lines a grace. I who read his loftier lay with transport will not admire his flaws and nonsense. You will say it is only a song, yet a song should have sense.

Lady Caroline is clearly piqued by Byron’s interest in another woman, and her anger with him renders her incapable of objective criticism.  And yet she has her finger on the pulse of the fashionable world – by 1815, the date of this extract, Byron-mania was at its height, and Byron’s name really could sell anything. Entries such as this one are therefore not only interesting in themselves, but can help to enrich our understanding of the cultural life of the past. Other highlights of the database include the marginalia from the books of Dunimarle Library, kindly entered by Sandra Cumming, and John Cole’s manuscript diaries, contributed by Gill Buckle, as well as the wealth of information about ordinary readers during the Second World War from the Mass Observation Archives at Sussex, now online as Mass Observation Online. Thanks to Bill Pidduck at Adam Matthew Digital, and Dorothy Sheridan of the Mass Observation Archive for permission to make this material available to users of RED.

At this point I would also like to acknowledge the tireless work of Jenny McAuley and Sarah Johnson, RED’s Research Associates.  Jenny and Sarah joined the RED team in January, and have been responsible for entering almost half of the material currently in the database, and for helping us to reach our target of 10,000 entries in the first year of our funding. We are very grateful to them both.  And, of course, we are also, as always, enormously grateful to all our volunteers for contributing material, and helping us to make the Reading Experience Database into a really useful resource for everyone.

We continue to encourage contributions – if you have not yet become a RED volunteer but have any material on reading that you would like to contribute to the database, please do get in touch. We are also keen to receive your comments on your experience of using the database.  You can either email us directly, at the e-mail addresses given below, or use the Contact Us button on the database website (

Finally, the RED Team would like to remind you about our project conference, ‘Evidence of Reading, Reading the Evidence’, to be held at the Institute of English Studies in London on 21-23 July 2008. We hope that you will join us for an exploration of reading in the past and the present. We have included the Call for Papers on the last page of this newsletter and more information is available online: and related links. The deadline for abstracts is 31 January, 2008. 

Newsflash: Thanks to the generosity of The Bibliographical Society, we can now offer several student bursaries to cover registration costs for students registered on either undergraduate or postgraduate courses. Follow this link for further details!


Contact Details:  
Dr Rosalind Crone
Literature Department
Faculty of Arts
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Dr Katie Halsey
Institute of English Studies
School of Advanced Study
University of London
Malet Street
Email: Email:

Forthcoming Events and Calls for Papers

RED Conference: Evidence of Reading, Reading the Evidence

Follow this link for further details

Publishing Science: Seminars in Book History and Bibliography
Organised by the Book History Research Group, the Open University, and the Institute of English Studies, University of London.

Organiser: Dr Shafquat Towheed , Open University.

The theme for the 2008-2009 seminar series will be Transatlantic Serialisation. If you are interested in giving a paper please contact Dr Shafquat Towheed.

Programme 2006-2007:

29 October 2007 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Katy Price (Anglia Ruskin University)
'Einstein for the tired business man: relativity exposition in magazines'
Katy Price teaches English and Writing at Anglia Ruskin University. She has published on William Empson's astronomy love poems and is completing a book on literary and popular appropriations of Einstein's relativity. She is Communications Officer for History of Science at the BA Festival of Science.

12 November 2007 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Amanda Mordavksy-Caleb (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
'The Politics of Publishing Science, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Alan Sokal and Love the Scientific Method'
Amanda Mordavsky-Caleb is a Lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, having recently completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield entitled 'The Decadent Scientist in British Fictions of the Fin de Siecle, 1886-1902'. She is the editor of '(Re)Creating Science in Nineteenth-Century Britain', forthcoming in August with Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She is currently working on a study of eugenics in Victorian and Edwardian literature.

26 November 2007 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Max Saunders (King's College London)
'Publishing the future: CK Ogden and Kegan Paul's "To-day and To-morrow" series'
Max Saunders is Professor of English at King's College London, where he teaches modern English, European, and American Literature. He is the author of 'Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life', the editor of Ford's 'Selected Poems' and 'War Prose', and (with Richard Stang), 'Critical Essays'. He is also general editor of 'International Ford Madox Ford Studies'.

10 December 2007 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Aileen Fyfe (National University of Ireland, Galway)
'Steam-Powered Information: the British and American publishing activities of W&R Chambers, c1830-60'
Aileen Fyfe lectures in the history of science at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is currently working on the impact of new technologies upon the publication of cheap works of science in the mid-nineteenth century. She is the author of 'Science and Salvation: evangelicals and popular science publishing in Victorian Britain' (2004) and editor of 'Science for Children' (2003).

28 January 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Jonathan Topham (University of Leeds)
'Scientific Publication and the Readership for Science in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain'
Jonathan Topham is co-author of 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature' (2004) and 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index' (2005), and co-editor of 'Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media' (2004).

11 February 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:00 - 19:30
Jim Mussell (Birkbeck College/ NSE)
'The Roles of Secrecy in Nineteenth-Century Science Publishing'
Jim Mussell is postdoctoral research assistant on the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition. He is the author of 'Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press' (2007) and writes broadly on nineteenth-century science and publishing.

25 February 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Gowan Dawson (University of Leicester)
'Moa Mania: Richard Owen's functionalist Paleontology and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture'
Gowan Dawson is the author of 'Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability' (2007), and co-author of 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature' (2004).

10 March 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Angelique Richardson (University of Exeter)
' "Among the earliest acclaimers of The Origin": Hardy and the Scientists'
Angelique Richardson is the author of 'Love and Eugenics in the late Nineteenth-Century: Rational Reproduction and the New Woman 1890-1914' and the editor of 'Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women 1890-1914' (2005). She is a member of the advisory committee of Exeter's Centre for Medical History, a Research Associate of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis), and a Contributing Editor to 'Critical Quarterly'.

Teaching the history of the book to undergraduates
8 December 2007
Institute of English Studies, London

Organisers: Dr Ian Gadd, Dr Aileen Fyfe, Dr John Hinks, Dr Cathy Shrank and Professor Simon Eliot

Enquiries: Jon Millington, Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel +44 (0) 207 664 4859; Email

Programme and Registration:

Possession and Distribution of Books: doctoral workshop
31 October 2007
Helsinki, Finland

The Nordic-Baltic-Russian Network on the History of Books, Libraries and Reading (HIBOLIRE) will arrange on October 31st 2007 a doctoral workshop in Helsinki under the theme 'Possession and Distribution of Books'.

The workshop seeks to promote regional book history studies. It offers a possibility to deliver a presentation of an ongoing Ph.D. research for an international audience and receive comments from the participants and a specific commentator from the HIBOLIRE network.

The workshop is arranged in conjunction with the decennial Jubilee Seminar of the Finnish Book Historical Association on November 1st - 2nd 2007. The participants of the workshop are welcome to participate in the Jubilee Seminar as well.

Abstracts for the doctoral workshop, max. 500 words, and a short CV, should be sent via E-mail to Jyrki Hakapää [jyrki.hakapaa(at)] until April 10th 2007. Notifications of acceptance will be sent in May. Eligible are all interested doctoral students, but priority is given to students from the HIBOLIRE countries and institutions represented in the network. The network can support travel costs of doctoral students coming from the member institutions. The workshop will also include the yearly meeting of the board of HIBOLIRE and a general meeting of members.


The Second Annual Making Books, Shaping Readers Conference
Shaping Readers: Selection and Editing
2 - 4 April 2008
University College Cork

Keynote Speaker: Professor Alistair McCleery, Co-Director of SAPPHIRE, Professor of Literature and Culture at Napier University, and co-editor of The Book History Reader.

Following on from the success of last year’s conference, the Making Books, Shaping Readers project at the Department of English, University College Cork, invite submissions for twenty-minute papers on the theme Shaping Readers: Selection and Editing. We encourage individual proposals as well as suggestions for panels.

The conference will explore the editor’s role in shaping the material we read, which in turn shapes our reception of the text. Editions of texts are at the core of all research in the humanities, and our readings of, and responses to, texts are often subtly shaped by editorial decisions and selections. Editorial processes are not objective or neutral, and frequently happen without comment. Papers might focus on, but are not limited to, some of the following:

  • What is an editor?
  • Textual ‘corruption’
  • Authorial intention
  • Editing as interpretation
  • The social text
  • The role of the publisher
  • Textual variants
  • The reader as editor
  • The role of technology
  • Theories of selection and compilation
  • The effect of selection and editing on materiality
  • Anthologies, scholarly editions and canon formation

In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the project, we invite papers from scholars in all disciplines. Selected papers may be included in an edited volume. Accepted abstracts will be published on our website prior to the conference.

Abstracts (300-500 words) should be sent to the organisers: Dr Siobhán Collins, Dr Carrie Griffin, Mary O’ Connell and Dr Graham Allen at no later than 14th January 2008.

Early Modern Reading: Books, Communities, Conversations
11-12 April 2008
Newcastle University

Keynote Speakers:
Jason Scott-Warren (Cambridge)
Cathy Shrank (Sheffield)
Daniel Wakelin (Cambridge)

The history of reading has experienced an explosive growth in recent years. Scholars of early modern England have been at the forefront of research in this area, and studies of the reading practices of a number of notable figures, including Gabriel Harvey, John Dee, Ben Jonson, and Sir William Drake, have appeared over the last fifteen years. Historians have gleaned from notebooks and marginalia a model of reading as utilitarian; this values the text primarily as a resource to be mined for information or turns of phrase and applied to the life or writings of the reader or their patron. Such work has offered many important insights, but it has perhaps also narrowed our understanding of the practice of reading and its social and political import. It does not give us a model that is flexible enough to explain the relationship between reading and the development of ‘literary’ form, nor does it recognise the diverse practical, political and social interests which reading may have served.

We invite proposals for conference papers which aim to extend or complicate our understanding of early modern readers and reading practice. This might be understood to include the conversations - or indeed quarrels - which follow particular texts; the act of reading itself as dialogic; readings that ‘go against the grain’; the sense of literary writings as acts of reading; reading as information gathering and the organization of knowledge; and textual exchange as a form of association, or negotiation, between individuals, communities, and cultures.

Specific subjects which contributors might address include (but are not limited to):
• Paratexts and marginalia
• Rhetoric and imitation
• Translation
• Book and manuscript circulation
• Book ownership
• Reading communities
• Dialogue and civil conversation
• Oppositional reading
• Censorship
• Reading and politics
• Reformation and religious controversy
• Education and reading
• Scientific reading
• Information management

Please send proposals (100 words) by 7 December 2007 to:
Fred Schurink ( or
Jennifer Richards (

Reception and Diaspora: Readers and Audiences After Empire
3-5 September 2008
University of Stirling, Scotland

Janice Radway has noted that the original use of the term "audience" to describe "face to face" communication is complicated by the act of reading books, which involves "dispersed", "nomadic" readers (Radway 1988). Similarly, in an essay written in critical dialogue with Radway's, Lawrence Grossberg uses the extended metaphor of the road to address "wandering audiences" and "nomadic critics" (Grossberg 1988). Significantly, neither of these critics is thinking about the implications of diaspora for reception study; rather they are using diasporic metaphors to illustrate a theoretical sense of the audience’s elusiveness. What happens when such figurative allusions are taken literally and applied to the actual experiences of diaspora, globalization and postcoloniality?

This conference seeks to extend current debates on the history of reading (e.g. RED: 1450-1945) by inviting discussion on reception, readers and audiences – empirical and metaphorical – after empire. Reception is used in this context to refer to diasporic narratives of arrival, hospitality and integration, and to the critical activity of reading, interpreting and responding to such narratives.

Suggested topics include:
Reading and resistance; reception and translation; contrapuntal reading; empire, globalization, and interpretive communities; reading networks; the internet and new technologies; the postcolonial exotic; literacy and reading; reception as a situated activity; viewers, the gaze, ethnicity; consumption after colonialism; travelling libraries; diasporic readers/./audiences in literature/film; postcolonial history of the book; nationalism and hermeneutics.

Titles and abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent electronically, along with a 50-word biography, by March 31st 2008 to Bethan Benwell (



The Novel and its Borders
8 - 10 July 2008
University of Aberdeen

Organised by The Centre for The Novel

Organisers: Adrienne Janus, Abigail M Smith and Janet Todd

The novel is not only a literary form occupying a particular generic or cultural territory, but also an aesthetic, historical and social phenomenon that represents, constructs, and transgresses borders. The conference on The Novel and its Borders will engage with the novel in all its aspects, material and theoretical, from the 18th to the 21st century.

Plenary speakers: Malcolm Bowie, Jonathan Lamb, Terry Castle

Panel topics will include the following:

  • Genealogies of the novel
  • Histories of the book
  • Memory, History and Narrative time
  • Transatlantic crossings
  • Travel narratives
  • Libraries, Archives, Markets
  • Borders of the mind
  • Territories of the body, novel sexualities
  • The novel and translation
  • The novel and real/imagined communities
  • The novel and old/new media
  • Materialities of the novel
  • Transport of/in the novel
  • The novel and the city
  • The novel and the nation
  • Technology, science and the novel
  • Realism and its borders (The experimental novel)
  • The novel and its critical fields (Theories of the novel)

Please send 250-word abstracts for 20-minute conference papers to
Submission deadline is 31 December 2007.

Proposals for panel topics with participants are also welcome.



Books on the Battlefield: The Reception, Use and Appropriation of Books in Warfare, 1450 to the Present Day

3 November 2007
King's Manor, University of York, York

The relationship between books and war appears self-evident: books have acted as potent weapons in ideological warfare and war has provided literature with one of its most enduring themes. Yet the reception, use, and appropriation of texts in a military context has remained relatively unexplored. While the work of Paul Fussell, Samuel Hynes and others has raised important questions about the literary dimensions of soldiers' narratives, the ways in which combatants' reading shaped their experience and understanding of war deserve further examination. We also need to consider texts targeted specifically at soldiers, from the pocket bibles and catechisms produced for the Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War to the vast range of literature published through the US armed services editions in the twentieth century. Papers which look beyond the Anglo-American experience of war will be particularly welcome. Please send proposals of up to 500 words to Catriona Kennedy ( and Helen Smith ( by 30th April, 2007.

For further details and registration (£12/£17 for staff; £5/£10 for students/unwaged; free/£5 for members of the University of York) please visit the conference website at


Rethinking the Book: Between Text and Para-Text
Book History Research Network Study Day

Friday, 26th October 2007
Institute of English Studies, University of London

In their Introduction to A Companion to the History of the Book, Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose write that while “literary critics and theorists feel able to talk about a text as though it were some disembodied entity, for the book historian the text always takes an embodied form”. The aims and objectives of criticism, exegesis and the history of ideas, on the one hand, and book history and historical bibliography on the other are not simply different. As tools for human communication, books carry meaning through their “text” as much as through their physical form, and the interaction between the two is the focus of this study. We invite scholars working on book history to look more deeply into how this interaction works. Topics that could be considered are physical form (mise-en-page, typography, format, paper type) and meaning, the relationship between history of the book and textual editing, “material” reception/reputation history, the sociology of the text and the idea of influence/intertextuality, para-text and the material book, the genetic text and the “biography” of an œuvre, illustrations and dust jackets.

Follow this link for further information, including programme details, or contact either Christine Lees ( or Wim Van Mierlo (

Spaces of Print: Exploring the History of Books
Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand 2007 Conference
15-16 November 2007

The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand conference for 2007 will be held in Hobart, Tasmania. Papers are invited on any aspect of book history - the history of printing, publishing, bookselling, libraries and reading. Australian and New Zealand topics are especially welcome, however other topics within the Society's areas of interest will be considered. For more information about BSANZ and its interests, go to the website (see below).

Closing date for papers: 31 March 2007

Ian Morrison: Phone: +61 3 6233 7474
Tony Marshall Email: Phone: +61 3 6233 7498



The Culture of Print in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM)
The Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America
Madison, Wisconsin
September 12-13, 2008

The conference will include papers focusing on the dynamic intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) and print culture. Papers might address ways in which STEM-its histories and materials, its theories and practices, its economics, and its practitioners-affects or is affected by print culture. These approaches might include: innovations in the production and circulation of print; patterns of authorship and reading; publication, and dissemination of knowledge in the history of STEM. Alternatively, taking the various theories and methodologies that have grown out of half-a-century of historical and social studies of STEM, papers could investigate the social construction of STEM knowledge through print; technologies of experimentation and inscription as a print culture of the laboratory; and the social networks of readership in the production of scientific consensus or conflict. Though our emphasis is on the United States scene, we welcome submissions from other areas of the globe as well.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Jim Secord, of Cambridge University, Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project, and author of many publications, including the award-winning Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

Proposals for individual papers or complete sessions (up to three papers) should include a 250-word abstract and a one-page c.v. for each presenter. If possible, submissions should be made via email. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008. Notifications of acceptance will be made by early March.

As with previous conferences, we anticipate producing a volume of papers from the conference for publication in a volume in the Center's series, "Print Culture History in Modern America," published by the University of Wisconsin Press. A list of books the Center has produced, available on the Center's website (, offers a guide to prospective authors.

For information, contact:
Christine Pawley, Director,
Center for the History of Print Culture
4234 Helen C. White Hall,
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706
phone: 608 263-2945/608 263-2900
fax: (608) 263-4849

Co-sponsors: School of Library and Information Studies, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, the departments of the History of Science, the History of Medicine and Bioethics, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


Readers, Writers, Salonnieres: Female Networks in Europe, 1700-1900

Keynote speakers: Professor Dena Goodman, University of Michigan and Professor Helen Chambers, University of St Andrews.

Proposals are invited for an interdisciplinary two-day conference to be
held at Chawton House Library, Hampshire, 22nd and 23rd May 2008. See for information about the location. The
event is jointly organised by the University of Southampton English
Department, the University of Warwick French Department and the University
of Wales Swansea German Department.

The conference is one in a series being held in conjunction with the Netherlands Research Organisation (NWO) Project "New Approaches to European Women's Writing" which is based at the University of Utrecht and is directed by Dr Suzan van Dijk. Please see for more details.

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw an explosion of interest in Europe in foreign languages and literatures, and recent research has begun to explore the part played by women in cross-cultural interchange. This conference seeks to examine the trans-national links between literary women in Europe in the period 1700-1900. To what extent were women writers from different countries aware of each other and each other's work? We invite papers which look at women who read or were inspired by the work of women abroad, as well as papers exploring actual links (for example,
through correspondence, visits or contact in the salons) between women writers of different nationalities.

Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes and should be given in English.
Please send a 250-word abstract for the attention of the organisers
Katherine Astbury, Hilary Brown and Gillian Dow to the conference
administrator Sandy White:

The deadline for abstracts is the 7th of January 2008.

Funding from the NWO and Chawton House Library will enable us to waive the conference fee for speaking delegates.

Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Women's Writing.

Published Words, Public Pages – SHARP Copenhagen: a Nordic conference of International Print Culture
The Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark
10–12 September 2008

Confirmed keynote speakers:
William St Clair, Hans Walter Gabler, Isabel Hofmeyr

Published Words, Public Pages aims to gather together current research into print culture – book history, textual studies, sociology of literature, library studies, literature and media studies – undertaken in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions and elsewhere. What is shared among and across disciplines when the historical and contemporary transmission of knowledge is considered in material terms? How can we understand the inter and intra-national circulation of knowledge, involving fiction, non-fiction and scientific writing, its material production, and distribution via libraries, commercial markets and non-commercial channels? How have the efforts of printers, editors, graphic designers, programmers, entrepreneurs, publishers, distributors and of course writers affected production, reception and significance? How are ideas of a public – a literary or general public, an author's, or the public sphere – linked to the histories of people who write, make or read books, and how are they coupled to ideas of gender, to regional or metropolitan identities, or to colonial and post-colonial experience?

Emphasis is placed not only on inter and intra-national transmission but on self-reflection about methods and disciplinary boundaries. Is book history a discipline with methods of its own that can contribute to other disciplines? Or is it an inter or cross-disciplinary meeting point? Can rethinking these disciplinary questions lead us to an improved understanding of specific cultural, political, economic and geographic features that shape materials in print culture? Small languages, large markets – an apt description of the Nordic situation – addresses the export of small-language works to international markets. Conversely, small markets import large-language works (often outweighing domestic material).

To reiterate, the conference has an international and interdisciplinary aim. Strategies deployed by international readerships, booktrades and scholars for responding to questions posed by the conference will help illuminate the situation of the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions through comparative example.

Topics that the conference might wish to explore include:
  • Translation and culture. Small languages, large markets. The export and import of texts
  • Constructing publics, from the codex to the screen. Contributions might engage with relations between material transmission and publics, reader markets, law, censorship and copyright, and the construction of a public sphere, via ‘public pages’.
  • Imagined communities – émigré communities, regional groups, national readerships within and beyond the national border, their books, and the libraries and institutions that have and continue to cater for them.
  • Economies of the scholarly edition – the historical, material, institutional, publishing and market conditions for today’s critical editions.
  • Histories of reading – literacies, ‘Leselust’, religious reading, and the reading experience.
  • The Nordic model – the State and the book, in contemporary, historical and international perspectives.
  • Nordic antiquities – runes, sagas, Nordic signs, northern romanticism, its application, reception and transmission.
  • Transmitting the Nordic canon – Ibsen, Hamsun, Blixen, Brandes, Strindberg, Andersen in world markets. Anniversaries, reputations and business.

For further details please visit

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing
SHARP 2008 Conference: Teaching and Text

Oxford Brookes University, UK
24-28 June 2008

Submission forms for papers and panels for SHARP 2008 are now available.

Our conference theme, Teaching and Text, reflects the historical and contemporary position of Oxford as a seat of learning and a centre of academic and professional publishing. It will be developed through an opening plenary lecture by Professor Juliet Gardiner, author of Wartime Britain 1939-1945, and by a panel on the History of Oxford University Press led by Professor Simon Eliot, Chair in the History of the Book at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

In line with previous SHARP conferences, we welcome abstracts on all aspects of book history and print culture, but invite especially proposals for individual papers or themed panels that aim to explore topics linked to ‘Teaching and Text,’ such as:

  • Links between education and publishing
  • Authorship, publishing and reception of educational materials
  • Education and training for careers in publishing
  • Business practice in educational and academic publishing
  • Digital materiality and the virtual canon
  • Books in universities and libraries
  • Cultural policy and the teaching of national literatures

Submitting your proposal:
Conference papers will be organized into panel sessions of 90 minutes, each comprising three 20-minute papers and time for discussion. Proposals may be submitted either for individual papers, which will be combined into panel sessions by the programme committee, or for organized panel sessions of three papers and a chair.

Proposals should be submitted in English by 30 November 2007 using the online submission forms on the conference website.

Proposals received after 30 November 2007 will not be considered. Presenters (at least one author of each paper proposal) 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 registration. For information on membership please see the SHARP website.

Graduate Students:
There will be pre-conference activities for graduate students. Further information will be available in due course.

Travel Grants:
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 in the appropriate box.

Follow this link for further information and submission forms for paper and panel proposals.

from: William Hone, ‘The Yearbook’, 1832
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