Friday, January 7, 2011

CFP: Book Design from the Middle Ages to the Future. Traditions and Evolutions

The objective of this international congress is to explore traditions and innovations in book design and typography from the manuscript era to the age of the electronic book. The following questions will be addressed: How did the design of books evolve during the Middle Ages, the early modern period and beyond? Which traditions survived the successive transitions from manuscripts to hand press books in the early modern period, at the end of the eighteenth century (the period of mechanization and automatisation), and at the end of the twentieth century from the paper book to the electronic book? How did the changing conditions of production and use affect the appearance and content of books? Which elements endured and which ones were altered or disappeared? How is the design of books embedded in culture and how do the arts interact where the presentation of texts is concerned? Twenty-minute papers are invited addressing different aspects of book design, typography and book layout from a comparative or long-term perspective. They may deal with single aspects, such as title pages, type and illustrations, or with strategies for the articulation of texts, such as rubrication, colour, typographical white, ornaments and initials. Contributions should focus on traditions and the long-term evolution of book design, or explore the interaction of different cultures that have influenced the typography of books in neighbouring regions.

Keynote speaker: Prof David McKitterick (Cambridge University) Confirmed speakers include Dr Erik Kwakkel (Leiden University) & Prof Gerard Unger (Leiden University)

The congress will be preceded by a Miræus Lecture in the Nottebohm Hall of the Antwerp Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience, and will be followed by a guided tour of the Museum Plantin Moretus in Antwerp on Saturday 1 October.

For further information & questions, please contact Dr Goran Proot, University of Antwerp, Grote Kauwenberg 18, room d218, b-2000 Antwerp, Belgium.
Please send twenty-line abstracts by 28 February 2011 to