Performing the Book: Multimedia Histories of Early Modern Britain, Rutgers University

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Scott Trudell, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
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Call for Graduate Student Papers

Performing the Book: Multi-Media Histories of Early Modern Britain

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

February 11, 2011

Sponsored by the Rutgers British Studies Center, the Rutgers Program in Early Modern Studies, the Rutgers Center for Cultural Analysis, and the Rutgers Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium.

Recent scholarship in media theory, digital culture, and the history of the material text has opened up new ways of thinking about intersections of pen, print, sound, and performance in the early modern period. The categories of "new" and "multi" media, in particular, gather special relevance in the multifarious literary and performative terrain of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century Britain. This conference offers an opportunity for graduate students in disciplines including English, Music, History, and Performance Studies, to address the following questions:

How can scholarship on acoustic and performative multi-media in early modern Britain contribute to or intervene in methodologies associated with the history of the book? How can we theorize the categories of "book" and "text" in relation to the circulation and performance of sound? How can studies of the early modern acoustic world nuance the received wisdom about bibliographic and literary cultures and traditions? What media technologies and protocols were understood as new during this period, and how were they associated with literary, musical, or theatrical collectives? What does early modern aural performance tell us, or ask us to reconsider, about the hybridity of media from Gutenberg to Google?

Visitors will include Bruce Smith (University of Southern California, English), Christopher Marsh (Queen's University, Belfast, History), Leslie Dunn (Vassar College, English), Juliet Fleming (New York University, English), R. Malcolm Smuts (University of Massachusetts, Boston, History), and Gary Tomlinson (University of Pennsylvania, Music).

Graduate students are invited to submit 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers by September 30 to Scott Trudell (