CFP: Voices and Books, 1500-1800, Newcastle University and City Library

Deadline: 16 January 2015

July 16-18 2015, Newcastle University and City Library, Newcastle.

Organiser: Jennifer Richards, Newcastle University with Helen Stark, Newcastle University

Keynote Speakers:

Heidi Brayman Hackel (University of California, Riverside)

Anne Karpf (London Metropolitan University)

Christopher Marsh (Queen’s University, Belfast) with The Carnival Band

Perry Mills, Director of Edward’s Boys (King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon)

Although it is often acknowledged that early modern books were routinely read aloud we know relatively little about this. Oral reading is not embedded as an assumption in existing scholarship. On the contrary, over the last two decades it is the studious and usually silent reader, pen in hand, who has been placed centre stage. This conference invites contributions that explore the kind of evidence and research methods that might help us to recover this lost history; that think about how reading/singing aloud relates to other kinds of orality; that recover the civic and/or social life of the performed book in early modern culture; and that reflect on how the performance of the scripted word might inform our reading of early modern writing today. We also welcome papers that think through what it might mean to make ‘voice’ central to our textual practice.

Proposals are invited (in English) that address the relationship between orality and literacy in any genre in print or manuscript in any European language. The genres might be literary, religious, musical, medical, scientific, historical or educational. We encourage proposals that recover diverse communities and readers/hearers. We also welcome papers that consider problems of evidence: e.g. manuscript marginalia; print paratexts; visual representations; as well as non-material evidence (voice; gesture). We will be particularly pleased to receive suggestions for presentations that include practical illustrations, performances or demonstrations.

Topics might include, but are not restricted to:

• The sound of print

• The physiology of voicing

• Singing and speaking

• Rhetoric: voice and gesture

• Performance and emotions

• Communities of hearers

• Acoustic reconstructions

• Children’s reading / reading to children

200-word abstracts for 20-minute papers from individuals and panels (3 speakers max) to be sent to The DEADLINE is Friday January 16 2015.

There will be a small number of travel bursaries for postgraduate and early career researchers. If you are interested in applying for support please contact The DEADLINE for the bursaries is May 1st 2015.


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