2020 STS Conference Call for Papers

“Borders of the Book”

Deadline for proposals: October 15, 2019


The STS conference will take place March 19-21, 2020, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, with the conference theme “Borders of the Book.” Featured speakers will include Laura Helton, Peter Kornicki, and Michael Suarez. Philadelphia, as befits a city that is and has been one of America’s major cultural centers, has important libraries and archival sites of interest to STS members, including: The Kislak Center and the Schoenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the Rosenbach Museum and Library, The Philadelphia Free Library, The Library Company, and the American Philosophical Society.

Where are the “borders of the book,” and what do we find there? Our theme seeks to probe the inter- and transnationalism of textual culture—the translations and migrations that transmit texts and that texts themselves have prompted—as well as the “borders” of books and other textual vessels, as objects that may be material, digital, and/or ephemeral. Possible topics include, for example:

  • marginalia, annotations, illustrations, and other paratexts
  • comparative editorial practices and theories, across languages and traditions
  • editing as cultural heritage preservation and/or transformation
  • cross-format editions and other kinds of media migrations
  • textual studies and disciplinarity: boundaries and transgressions
  • textual immigration and emigration
  • border libraries and mobile libraries
  • maps as texts
  • textuality and translation
  • colonial traces across book and textual cultures
  • decolonial practices and textual studies
  • questioning nationalisms and textual history

In addition to proposals related to the conference theme, STS invites proposals on other aspects of textual scholarship. STS is an interdisciplinary organization, and we have a tradition of offering papers from diverse disciplines, including literature, history, musicology, classical and biblical studies, theology, philosophy, art history, legal history, the history of science and technology, computer science, library and information science, lexicography, epigraphy, paleography, codicology, cinema studies, new media studies, game studies, theater and performance studies, linguistics, gender and sexuality studies, race and ethnicity studies, indigenous studies, and textual and literary theory.

Deadline for proposals: October 15, 2019

Submissions may take the following forms:

  1. Papers. Papers (or papers with slideshow presentations) should be no more than 20 minutes in length, making a significant original contribution to scholarship. Papers that are primarily reports or demonstrations of tools or projects are discouraged.
  2. Panels. Panels may consist of either three associated papers or four to six roundtable speakers. Roundtables should address topics of broad interest and scope, with the goal of fostering lively debate with audience participation.
  3. Seminars. Seminars should propose a specific topic, issue, or text for intensive collective exploration. Accepted seminar proposals will be announced on the conference Web site (http://www.textualsociety.org) at least two months prior to the conference and attendees will then be required to enroll themselves with the posted seminar leader(s). The seminar leader(s) will circulate readings and other preparatory materials in advance of the conference. No papers shall be read at the seminar session. Instead participants will engage with the circulated material in a discussion under the guidance of the seminar leader(s). All who enroll are expected to contribute to creating a mutually enriching experience.
  4. Workshops. Workshops should propose a specific problem, tool, or skill set for which the workshop leader will provide expert guidance and instruction. Examples might be an introduction to forensic computing or paleography. Workshop proposals that are accepted will be announced on the conference Web site (http://www.textualsociety.org) and attendees will be required to enroll with the workshop leader(s).

Proposals for all formats should include a title; abstract (250 words max.) of the proposed paper, panel, seminar, or workshop; and name, email address, and institutional affiliation for all participants. Format should be clearly indicated. Seminar and workshop proposals in particular should take care to articulate the imagined audience and any expectations of prior knowledge or preparation.

***All abstracts should indicate what if any technological support will be required.***

Inquiries and proposals should be submitted electronically to stsconference2020@gmail.com

All participants in the STS 2020 conference must be members of STS. For information about membership, please visit the Society for Textual Scholarship website https://textualsociety.org/membership-information/. For conference updates and information, see the STS website at http://textualsociety.org.