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Keynote and Plenary Sessions

Opening Keynote Address

"Geographies of the Book / Geographies in Books"

Roger Chartier
Collège de France and University of Pennsylvania

Thursday, July 18, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Claudia Cohen Hall Class of 1969 Lecture Room G-17
36th and Spruce Streets
University of Pennsylvania

This presentation will examine the different and successive spatial frameworks in which the history of the book has located its dominant approaches. Early interpretative models, borrowed from economic and social history, were used to map the diffusion of Gutenberg's invention; to measure national book production; and to reconstruct publishing activity and reading habits in a given city or territory.

Subsequently, book history freed itself from imposed frameworks and adopted new historiographical models. These include comparative history, stressing similarities and differences between various national or linguistic contexts, and imperial and colonial history, defining the book trade, censorship, and reading practices as elements fundamental to relationships between metropoles and colonies. New forms of connected history locate the circulation of manuscripts and printed books within the relations between different culturesand do not interpret them solely in relation to European domination. More recently, the geography of the book has also been understood as geography within books. Analyses here attend to the presence of geographical descriptions and maps within numerous genres: travelogues, chronicles, and universal histories, of course, but also works of fiction.

My central example, Don Quixote, will illustrate this relationship between the mobility of the work (in its editions, translations, theatrical adaptations, sequels, engravings, and paintings) and the mobility of characters (and their readers) within the narrative history itselfand also within other work by Cervantes, specifically the Novelas ejemplares and Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda.

Roger Chartier is a Professeur in the Collège de France and Annenberg Visiting Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He frequently lectures and teaches in the United States, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. His work in Early Modern European History was rooted in the tradition of the "Annales School" and mainly dedicated to the history of education, the history of the book and the history of reading. Recently, he has focused on the relationship between written culture as a whole and literature (particularly theatrical plays) for France, England and Spain. His work in this specific field (based on the criss-crossing between literary criticism, bibliography, and sociocultural history) is not disconnected from broader historiographical and methodological interests which deal with the relation between history and other disciplines: philosophy, sociology, anthropology.

Peter Stallybrass
University of Pennsylvania


Keynote Address

"Transmission History is Reception History: Approaching Global Bibliography"

Michael F. Suarez, S.J.
Rare Book School
University Professor
University of Virginia

Friday, July 18, 2013
5:15 p.m.
Ullyot Hall
Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
Olde City Philadelphia

In this illustrated lecture, Prof. Suarez will examine copies of Gulliver''s Travels, Rasselas, and Alice in Wonderland from some two dozen countries to think about bibliography and book history as instruments of cross-cultural, historical interpretation. The record of local adaptation and appropriationmanifest in the details of booksenables us to consider transformations in the transmission of literature from one cultural context to another. Thus, we may come to a more capacious understanding of how cultural identities are established and reinforced through the translation and rethinking of antecedent meanings in the making of books from around the globe.

Michael F. Suarez, S.J. is Director of Rare Book School, Professor of English, University Professor, and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. A Jesuit priest, he holds four masters degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from Oxford. He has written many articles on various aspects of eighteenth-century English literature, bibliography, and book history. His most recent publication is The Oxford Companion to the Book (OUP, 2010), a million-word reference work, co-edited with H. R. Woudhuysen, on the history of books and manuscripts from the invention of writing to the present day. He is co-general editor (with Lesley Higgins) of The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (8 volumes, OUP, 2005-13). Among his current projects are "Bibliography for Book Historians" and the general editorship of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO), the largest digital project of its kind. He has held research fellowships from The American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.


Plenary Session

"Dream of Ferdinand: SHARP's Impossible Global Ambitions"

Simon Frost
Bournemouth University

Nathan Garvey
University of Queensland

Corinna Norrick-Rü
Institute for Book Studies
Johannes Gutenberg University

Loretta De Franceschi
University of Urbino

Geraldine Rogers
National University La Plata

Sydney Shep
Victoria University of Wellington

Saturday, July 20, 2013
10:30 a.m.
Claudia Cohen Hall Class of 1969 Lecture Room G-17
36th and Spruce Streets
University of Pennsylvania

SHARP is poised to become a genuine hub for global scholarship on written communication in material form. But the dream has antecedents. Ferdinand Columbus, re-staging his father's global ambitions in the library, attempted and failed in the early 1500s to collect the world's output from a new technology known as printing. Visionary Paul Otlet created Repertoire Bibliographique Universel by the late 1800s, but this precursor of the internet, with its 13 million index cards, collapsed with funding difficulties in the 1930s. SHARP has SHARP-L, SHARPweb and its 1000 members but, as Martyn Lyons pointed out recently, the internationalisation of SHARP hasn't yet been realized.

How should SHARP proceed? Its global ambition will invariably fail but, learning from Otlet and Columbus, how can it fail better? In this globalized, digitalized era, what new paths can SHARP choose to surpass geographical boundaries and genuinely incorporate non-Anglo-American scholarship?

This plenary session will consist of presentations by SHARP regional liaison officers, who will discuss the undertaking of global book-historic scholarship: including issues such as the internal contradictions between global digital humanities and national archival treasures; teaching international book history and examination of transnational texts, international exchange systems for staff and students; the impossibility of universalism; the cultural and geographical boundaries to ambition as explored in the fiction of J.L. Borges; and not least the implications of language and cost.


Final Keynote Address

"Towards Spatial Humanities: Using GIS to Map and Analyse the Geographies within Texts"

Ian Gregory
Lancaster University

Sunday, July 21, 2013
10:30 a.m.
Claudia Cohen Hall Class of 1969 Lecture Room G-17
36th and Spruce Streets
University of Pennsylvania

Traditionally IT-based approaches have largely relied on quantitative sources and have been of limited use to people wanting to analyse texts. Drawing on recent developments in both corpus linguistics and geographical information systems (GIS), this paper will show that this is no longer the case and that digital approaches have much to offer to researchers interested in the geographies that texts contain. Corpus linguistics is concerned with study the language used in a large body of text. GIS is a database technology that is concerned with mapping and analysing spatially referenced data. Bringing these two technologies together allows us to ask questions about what places a corpus - potentially consisting of many thousands of books - is talking about and, more importantly, to ask what it is saying about these places. The approach can then be extended to explore how these geographies change over time, through the text, or between chapters, writers, genres, and so on.

This paper will draw on a variety of contrasting corpora including Lake District writing, nineteenth century official reports and nineteenth century newspapers. These will be used to illustrate how technology-based approaches can assist humanities researchers in understanding the geographies that texts contain. It will show how the methods can assist with close reading by providing geographical context, and also allow the researcher to develop distant reading approaches that summarise the geographies within texts using maps, graphs and other forms of visualisation. These two are not conflicting approaches but can instead be used to complement and reinforce each other.

Ian Gregory is Professor of Digital Humanities at Lancaster University. His research concentrates on applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology to the humanities. Early in his career this concentrated primarily on quantitative historical material such as the census and he was heavily involved in the Great Britain Historical GIS project. More recently, his interests have moved to how qualitative material, particularly texts, can be used in humanities GIS. He is currently PI on the European Research Council-funded Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS, Places project and previously led the Mapping the Lakes project.

Bertrum MacDonald
Dalhousie University

Sydney Shep
Victoria University of Wellington

Closing Plenary Session

"Mapping Book History"

Ian Gadd
Bath Spa University
Incoming President of SHARP

Sunday, July 21, 2013
4:00-5:30 p.m.
Claudia Cohen Hall Class of 1969 Lecture Room G-17
36th and Spruce Streets
University of Pennsylvania

What are the intellectual landscapes of book history? What are the maps that wewhether as individual scholars or, collectively, as participants at a SHARP conferenceuse to locate ourselves within the field? Robert Darnton famously characterised that "field" as more like a "tropical rain forest" so dense and tangled that "[t]he explorer can hardly make his way across it," but thirty years on, does such an image continue to resonate? Does interdisciplinary in book history still "run riot"?

The purpose of this final session is to assess our own current conceptions of book history by mapping the newer, emerging geographies represented by the conference's papers and participants. It will also think about the potential new vistas and pathways that lie ahead.

The session will eschew the traditional format of a small panel of very senior scholars for something more open, participatory, and dynamic. A dozen conference attendees will be given three tasks: to seek out striking topics, approaches, or methodologies from the papers and panels they attend; to facilitate discussions over coffee, lunches, and dinners as well as through social media about a number of key questions of relevance to the future of book history; and to think about their own hopes and fears for the field. These scholars will not be identified until the final session begins.

We will monitor Twitter throughout the session for questions and observations, especially from those who are unable to attend the conference in person. The hashtag #mbhsharp should be used.

Lynne Farrington
Special Collections Center
University of Pennsylvania,

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