CFP: Early Modern Search Engines (3/30/06; RSA, 3/22/07-3/24/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Adam G. Hooks
contact email: 

RSA 2007 – CALL FOR PAPERS: Early Modern Search Engines: The
Organization of Vernacular Texts in 17th-century England

We are inviting paper proposals for an RSA conference panel on the
organization of vernacular texts in 17th-century England. The
proliferation of print led to a proliferation of lists, catalogues,
indices, and other related textual phenomena. These early modern search
engines significantly altered both the material forms of texts and the
ways in which those texts were used and perceived. While the
significance of the organization of the humanist text and the methods of
information retrieval in learned works has long been recognized, the
impact of technologies of text processing on the early modern vernacular
book remains unexplored.

What can these various lists, catalogues and indices tell us about their
creators and consumers, or about the very texts they organize? How did
these new textual forms affect the particular ways in which authors and
readers, booksellers and librarians, were organizing and articulating
the field of writing? Further, how can these organizational forms revise
our own conceptions about the structure of the book trade, the
classification of genre, and the formation of a recognized canon of

Please send abstracts and proposals – maximum 250 words – to Adam G.
Hooks ( and Andras Kisery ( by
March 30. Please remember that in order to present a paper, you must be
a member of the RSA by the time of the convention.

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Received on Tue Mar 07 2006 - 18:22:55 EST