CFP: After Print: Manuscripts in the Eighteenth Century

After Print: Manuscripts in the Eighteenth Century
UC Santa Barbara
April 24, 2015
Co-sponsored by the Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography at Rare
Book School and the UCSB Early Modern Center

This one-day conference at UCSB will bring together junior and senior
scholars to explore the continued vitality of manuscript publication
and circulation in the eighteenth century. Scholars now often take for
granted that the eighteenth century constituted an established ?print
culture,? whether that culture was inherent in the technology or
forged by its users. By the age of Addison and Pope, this narrative
contends, the spread of print and lapse of licensing had rendered
superfluous a manuscript world of scurrilous libels, courtly poetry,
and weekly newsletters. But a growing body of research is arguing for
the ongoing importance of manuscript production and publication into
the Romantic period, and for a critical stance that questions the
solidity of the print-manuscript binary. In texts from diaries and
journals to notes, letters, sheet music, scientific observations, and
hybrid multimedia documents, scholars are turning their attention to
the manuscript traditions and innovations that were also central to
eighteenth-century literature. And they are drawing connections to our
own moment of protracted media shift, focusing on aggregative,
iterative steps rather than a single “revolution.”

“After Print” will join this exciting subfield by exploring a range of
manuscript practices in the long eighteenth century. Margaret Ezell,
distinguished professor of English and Sara and John Lindsay Chair of
Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, whose works Social Authorship and 
the Advent of Print (1999) and The Patriarch’s Wife: Literary Evidence 
and the History of the Family (1987) have been foundational to the
field will deliver the keynote lecture on Friday evening. Proposals
are solicited for papers on any aspect of eighteenth-century studies
related to the theme; in particular, proposals are welcomed from
junior scholars (graduate students, postdocs, and untenured faculty)
for a special panel on new methods. Limited travel support for junior
scholars may be available.

Please send paper proposals by Dec. 15 to Rachael Scarborough King
(Asst. Prof. of English, UCSB),

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