Sunday, October 15, 2006

SHARP 2007 Conference: Open the Book, Open the Mind


The fifteenth annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) will be held in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota on July 11-15, 2007. SHARP is the leading international association for historians of print culture, enlisting more than 1,200 scholars world-wide; its members study "the creation, dissemination, and reception of script and print, including newspapers, periodicals, and ephemera," as well as the history of books. The forthcoming conference is organized in cooperation with the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota; University of Minnesota Libraries; Minneapolis Public Library; Minnesota Historical Society, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts -- a part of Open Book.

The conference theme, "Open the Book, Open the Mind," will highlight how books develop and extend minds and cultures, and also how they are opened to new media and new purposes. However, individual papers or sessions may address any aspect of book history and print or manuscript culture.

The conference organizers invite proposals for individual presentations, and also for complete panels of three presentations on a unifying topic. As is the SHARP custom, each session of 90 minutes will feature three papers of up to 20 minutes, providing time for substantive discussion with members of the audience. Proposals should be submitted via the online conference website by November 30, 2006: please go to and follow the directions provided there.

Each individual proposal should contain a title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and brief biographical information about the author or co-authors. Session proposals should explain the theme and goals, as well as include the three individual abstracts.

Each year SHARP provides funding support for a few partial travel grants for advanced graduate students and for independent scholars. If you would like to apply for such support please do so online, as you submit your proposal.

In keeping with the theme of the conference, a "pre-conference" of practical workshops and a plenary session devoted to book arts and artists' books will be held at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts at Open Book, near the University of Minnesota campus, on Tuesday, July 10, 2007. Details about that pre-conference and about the main conference program, registration, and housing arrangements will be made available early in 2007 at the general conference web site, Much information about SHARP 2007 and its location, including hotel-reservation information, is already available there.


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