This one-day conference/symposium will address the significance of transitory, elusive texts in Britain, Europe and America, including textual artifacts that have eluded traditional categories of print, or have been dismissed as short-lived, disposable, or valueless. To this end, the conference seeks to establish the value of a wide range of ephemera, from pamphlets and pulps, agony columns or matrimonial advertisements to pictorial matter, cards, cartoons, competitions, display advertising and personal ads. Recent decades have witnessed a shift in scholarly interest toward this formerly overlooked print tradition. New digital resources in particular are bringing into view a wide range of printed materials once hidden from the sight of researchers. Some questions raised by this material include: What are the appropriate methods of interpretation for working with ephemeral texts? What do these unique texts tell us about our cultural, social, or technological histories? How do transitory materials document the history of the nation in different ways from other sources? By asking such questions, this event aims to tell the untold stories of ephemera.
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