75 Years of Penguin Books: An International Multidisciplinary Conference (29 June - 1 July 2010); Proposal Deadline: 1 Feb 2010

full name / name of organization: 
AHRC Penguin Archive Project, University of Bristol

This conference seeks to cover the diversity of Penguin's publication history. In 2010, Penguin Books will be 75 years old and Puffin Books will be 70 years old. Organised by the AHRC Penguin Archive Project, the International Penguin Conference is occasioned by these two anniversaries of what is arguably the most distinctive and the most significant publishing house in the twentieth century and beyond. The conference will take place at the University of Bristol on three days: Tuesday 29 June - Thursday 1 July 2010.

The Penguin Archive itself is held in the Special Collections of the University of Bristol Library and attracts the attention of researchers in many disciplines and fields at national and international level, including historians of the book, biographers, social and political historians, cultural analysts and literary researchers.

Papers are invited on any topic connected to Penguin Books, past and present, and the following suggested topics are intended to be neither prescriptive nor comprehensive:

• The conduct of current affairs and the shaping of social and intellectual history (Pelicans, Penguin Specials and Peregrines);
• The changing role of women in publishing; (Eunice Frost who became the first woman director of Penguin in 1960 is foremost among several women who have worked and work for Penguin in key roles.)
• Typography and book design;
• Translation of European and World literatures;
• Translation and the reception of the Classics in English (seen for example in the papers of E.V. Rieu and of Betty Radice who succeeded him as editor of the Penguin Classics);
• Publishing, censorship and the law (famously Lady Chatterley's Lover, but also Ulysses and other cases of possible libel or obscenity);
• Art History and architecture (including Pevsner's Guides to the Buildings of England);
• Children's literature (Puffin and Peacock Books);
• Modern poetry (British and international);
• Fiction (the establishment of a canonical list and the encouragement of contemporary writers);
• Correspondence with individual authors.

Please send proposals (150-200 words) for papers of 20 minutes duration to


by 1st February 2010.

More information on the conference may be found on the the Penguin Archive Project website: