CFP: The Book in Art & Science


Call for Papers

Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and the Folger Shakespeare Library and Institute, the nineteenth annual conference  of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP), “The Book in Art & Science,” will be held in Washington, DC, Thursday, 14 July through Sunday, 17 July 2011.

Evoking Washington’s status as an artistic and scientific center, “The Book in Art & Science” is a theme open   to multiple interpretations. Besides prompting considerations of the book as a force in either art or science or  the two fields working in tandem, it also encourages examinations of the scientific text; the book as a work of  art; the art and science of manuscript, print, or digital textual production; the role of censorship and politics in the creation, production, distribution, or reception of particular scientific or artistic texts; the relationship between the verbal and the visual in works of art or science; art and science titles from the standpoint of publishing history or the histories of specific publishers; and much more. Such topics raise a host of possible questions:

  • What tensions exist between the book in art and the book in science?
  • What collaborations emerge? How do these tensions or collaborations differ according to time or place?
  • What roles have material forms—manuscript, print or digital embodiments or books,   periodicals, journals, editions—played in the histories of artistic and scientific works?
  • How does the lens of art or science inform histories of reading and readers?
  • What does this lens reveal about histories of authorship?
  • How have commercial factors or economics influenced the production or distribution of scientific or artistic works?
  • What roles have states or institutions played in the history of the book in art and science?

The conference hopes to welcome many longstanding SHARP members but also aims to attract new members. The conference’s address of art and science in its title invites those working on the illustrated book, book arts, the history of science, technology, knowledge production, or the scientific book, to join us. Similarly, it is hoped that the stellar holdings in Russian, Eastern European, Iberian, Latin American, Caribbean, Middle-Eastern and Asian written and visual texts held in Washington libraries and museums will encourage both scholars from these parts of the world and those who are working in the media histories of these cultures to attend. As always, proposals dealing with any aspect of book history are welcome.

Sessions will be 90 minutes in length, including three twenty-minute papers and a discussion period. In addition, the program committee will consider proposals for sessions using other formats—for example, roundtables or demonstrations of resources and methods. We encourage proposals for fully constituted panels but also welcome proposals for individual papers. While SHARP membership is not required to submit a proposal, all presenters must be members of SHARP before the registration deadline for the conference.

The deadline for both panels and individual proposals is 30 November 2010. Proposals for panels should list the session chair and names of participants along with abstracts for each talk. All abstracts should be no more than 400 words. The program committee will determine which proposals to accept and will notify proposers about its decision.

Click the appropriate link to access the appropriate electronic submission form.

Individual Proposals

Panel Proposals

If you want to propose a session with an alternative format, please email the program committee at the address above to obtain a special form for such submissions.

For proposal questions, please email (program committee).
For all other questions, email

SHARP has allotted $5,000 to fund 7 to 10 travel grants to help scholars with limited funds attend the conference. Grants typically will not exceed $500, although one or two awards may be slightly higher if circumstances warrant. Scholars interested in being considered for such grants should complete the appropriate section of the proposal form.



3 Responses to “CFP: The Book in Art & Science”

  1. Anna Battigelli Says:

    Thanks, Eleanor, for making this information available here. Can you tell us more about the conference highlights? This is sure to be a great conference.


  2. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    Please do circulate the announcement, noting the deadline of November 30th for receipt of proposals. And write me directly if you would like hard copies of the CFP to post or circulate.

    We have an exciting program planned–Jon Topham of the University of Leeds will be giving the opening keynote address at National Library of Medicine. His work spans a rich range of topics from science and its publics; popular science and science popularization; science and religion in Regency and Victorian society; natural theology and theologies of nature; the history of the book in nineteenth-century Britain: authorship, reading, and publishing; and nineteenth-century life and earth sciences; Darwin and Darwinism. We have four other keynotes and plenaries planned.

    As the call indicates, we are very interested in attracting those working art as well as science. And science includes technology. The digital will be well represented.


  3. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    I am also happy to report that Elizabeth Eisenstein will be giving the Firday morning keynote, tentatively entitled “The Cathedral and the Book”, and there will be a late afternoon keynote at the Folger. In addition, the conference will feature two plenary panels: one hosted by Michael Suarez and featuring Virginia’s Rare Book School faculty and another devoted to Digital Projects and Book History.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: