Book History Beyond the Book in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Call for papers
The last two decades have seen groundbreaking contributions to the field of book history in East and South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East that have sought to take into account the complex materiality and multilingualism of cultural production in these regions. However, teleological narratives persist about cultural forms and technologies, and their relationship to modernity, with the printed book and modern printing technologies still privileged as representing modernity par excellence. “Book History beyond the Book” invites doctoral researchers to take stock of recent interventions and seeks to provide a forum for dialogue between researchers working across languages and regions, and studying diverse media from manuscripts and performance to e-books and microblogs. We call upon participants to investigate the relationships between producers, intermediaries and audiences in the broad contexts of multilingualism and of commercial, patronage-based, and other economies of cultural production and consumption, exploring overlaps between moments. For instance, how do we account for the persistence of older modes of manuscript or book production into the 20th century, an aspect of cultural history often neglected by the privilege afforded to the modern printed book? Similarly, what are the spaces that magazines inhabit in the age of commercial publishing? How do we establish methodologies for studying archives and constituting new ones?
Paper proposals should include a title and a 300-word abstract. In addition, a short bio of 100 words with institutional affiliation and contact information is also required. Please submit proposals via email at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March 2016.