Authority in European Book Culture (1400-1600)
Conference at the University of Liverpool June 29th-July 1st 2006
Through its many and varied manifestations authority, whether religious, political or social, has frequently played a role in the communication process in both manuscript and print culture. It has influenced production methods and forms of publication, determining where, when and how information has been circulated. Authority has sometimes enforced the circulation of certain texts and text versions or conversely acted to prevent the distribution of books, pamphlets and other print matter. It has also stimulated the development of new publication forms and methods of dissemination. At times, authority has been explicit by encoding itself in structures or legislation. At others, it has operated in a more discreet way, seemingly imperceptibly influencing cultural attitudes to the written and printed word which have acted to the detriment of particular communities. Authority has not always gone unchallenged: readers, writers and printers have also rebelled against its constraints and restrictions, publishing controversial works anonymously or counterfeiting authoritative texts. The written or printed word itself has sometimes been perceived to have a kind of authority, which might have had ramifications in social, political or religious spheres.
This three-day conference brings together history of the book scholars with interests in late medieval and early modern Europe to reflect upon the questions that authority raises. The participation of postgraduate students is particularly welcomed.
Adrian Armstrong (University of Manchester, UK)
Brian Richardson (University of Leeds, UK)
Short proposals (200-300 words) for 20-minute papers should be submitted to the conference organisers Pollie Bromilow (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Godfried Croenen (email@example.com) by January 13th 2006.
It is anticipated that a selection of papers from this conference will be published.
This call for papers can be viewed on-line at: http://www.liv.ac.uk/sml/conferences/European_Book_Culture/index.htm
For more information about the University of Liverpool Book History Research Group see:
Dr Pollie Bromilow
Lecturer in French
School of Modern Languages
University of Liverpool
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