Mad, Bad, and Dangerous Texts: Controversies in Reading, Writing, Editing, and Printing
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous Texts:
Controversies in Reading, Writing, Editing, and Printing
Please circulate widely.
In addition to conveying controversial ideas, books themselves have both committed and inspired mad, bad, and dangerous behaviour. The production and consumption of printed matter can be subversive, destructive, or downright criminal. Studying books as material objects reveals controversies that are fascinating in their own right, regardless of the subject matter between their covers.
The theme of this year’s Book History and Print Culture Graduate Student Colloquium is “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous Texts: Controversies in Reading, Writing, Editing, and Printing.” We invite applications from graduate students, independent scholars, and emerging academics working in any discipline, time period, and geographical region. We hope to explore the ways that print objects have been used to elude and redefine notions of legitimacy. We welcome very broad interpretations of the idea of “danger,” as well as discussions of non-book materials, such as manuscripts, maps, film, or digital documents, that adopt a book history or bibliographic approach.
Possible approaches and topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
● Boundary pushing: dangerous maps, contraband sheet music, unauthorised translations, and indecent illustrations.
● Underground printing and the black market book trade
● Criminals of the book world: thieves, forgers, fences, smugglers, and pirates
● Exploitative, abusive, & fraught relationships between authors, editors, etc.
● Books that are sites for theft, libel, smuggling, and other crimes
● Marginalia, dog earring, and other “crimes” against books
● Toxic, diseased, and destructive books
● “Mad” books: counterintuitive book design
● The material uses of books that inspired criminal acts
● The bodily sacrifices of livestock to produce book materials
● Censorship: persecuted printers, exiled authors, banned books, & outlawed audiences
● Prescriptive definitions of audiences
● Propaganda and the use of print to exert state control
● Distribution, consumption, and collection as means of defiance or protest
● Books as prized, collectible, contested, contraband, or dangerous items
We are delighted to present a keynote presentation by David Fernández (Rare Book Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library) about depictions of monsters in early modern books.
For individual paper proposals, please submit a single document containing the following elements:
1) Abstract (150–200 words)
2) Biographical statement for the presenter (100–150 words) including name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and email address
For panel proposals, please submit a single document containing the following elements:
1) Brief overview of the proposed panel theme
2) Abstract for each panel presenter (150–200 words)
3) Biographical statement of each presenter (100–150 words)
Deadline for paper and panel proposals is December 14th, 2018.
To submit an abstract or for further inquiries, please contact the colloquium organizers at:
October 4, 2018.
Call for Papers: BHPC Colloquium 2019
We would be grateful if you could distribute the attached Call For Papers for the annual Book History and Print Culture (BHPC) Graduate Student Colloquium at the University of Toronto’s Massey College on March 23rd, 2019. The colloquium is a one-day student-run event featuring emerging researchers alongside established scholars.
The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous Texts: Controversies in Reading, Writing, Editing, and Printing.” We hope it will be of interest to your graduate students and departmental community.
Please let us know if you have any questions, and thank you very much for passing on news of our event.
Veronica Litt, Dustin Meyer, Holly Forsythe Paul, Taylor Tryburski, and Julia Warren.
Organizers for the 2019 Book History and Print Culture Graduate Student Colloquium