Printers, Their Social Networks, and the Public Sphere.

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
RSA 2019
contact email: 

For a proposed panel at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America 2019 (Toronto, 17 -19 March): I am seeking papers on early modern printers. Our modern sense of publishers as (more often than not) merely profiting from the creative agency of authors obscures the meaningful role early printers had in cultural production, politics (conservative and radical), the reception of major works, and the establishment of a public sphere. Printers sometimes simply sought sales, but they also often specialized and promoted particular agendas. Thomas Berthelet, for instance, printed several texts in support of the humanist education of women; French Protestant printer Thomas Vautrollier teamed up with Arthur Golding to produce Huguenot propaganda; and a few weeks after a stint in Newgate, Gabriel Simson printed Luke Hutton’s The Black Dog of Newgate, a scathing attack on the conditions in that prison. In what ways did individual printers shape the discourse of the period? How did the social network of a printer, or the materials of a particular shop contribute to ideological output? How did female printers (Elizabeth Allde, Jacqueline Vautrollier, Ellen Boyle, and others) influence prevailing ideas of gender or religion? How did specific apprenticeships influence the output of particular shops? In what ways did the Stationers Company and other such organizations facilitate or hinder open discourse? Although the above examples are about English print shops, the call is open to scholars working in other languages and regions as well. Proposals due August 1, 2018.

Send proposals to Scott Oldenburg, soldenbu@tulane.edu

Proposals should include 1) paper title; 2) abstract (150-word max.); 3) short cv (300-word max, not prose); 4) list of five keywords; 5) AV requirements. Note that panelists must register for the conference and arrange for their own travel and lodging.