Old Books for New Audiences: Preservation through Reprinting (SAMLA 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP)
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This session seeks to explore "cultures of reprinting" by considering the wider importance of reprinted and new editions of previously published works. There are several instances where time and zeitgeist seem to coincide to restore or recover texts at the time when they are most likely to be appreciated, read, and taught. Many times these recovery-through-reprinting efforts change or significantly shift the canon.

Possible topics to consider:

What do reprint editions of books have to tell us about our culture today?
What is the cultural effect of the publication of a new edition of a work at a particular point in history? How do they help recover and restore interest in forgotten writers, leading to a reassessment of their works?
How does reprinting help to sustain book history?
When has reprinting been problematic, leading to copyright infringement and piracy?
Are all unauthorized reprints or piracies problematic? Are there specific political or cultural needs for unauthorized reprints?
What do comparisons of different editions of a particular work tell us about the history of the work itself?
What was the financial importance of early reprints?
How did printing technology influence the growth of reprints in the nineteenth century?
How has the field of literature been expanded through the work of good reprintings of lost or recovered works that have only recently been reprinted for the first time?
How can Google Books be seen as a large reprinting service that now makes available once unavailable works? How has it changed the landscape of primary source research?

The SHARP affiliate session will be held during the SAMLA Convention, 7-9 November 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center. Potential topics include print culture, history of the book, authorship, publishing history, publishers' archives, circulation, and reception. Papers addressing this year's theme, "Sustainability and the Humanities," are especially welcome.

By June 1, 2014, please email a 350-word abstract and short biography (including contact information) to SHARP liaison Melissa Makala, University of South Carolina, at me.makala@gmail.com.

Proposers need not be members of SHARP to submit, but panelists must be members of both SAMLA and SHARP in order to present.