Enfilade

Call for Papers | The Beauty of Letters: Text, Type, and Communication

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 27, 2014

From the conference website:

The Beauty of Letters: Text, Type, and Communication in the Eighteenth Century
Birmingham, 14–15 March 2015

Proposals due by 1 July 2014

beauty_of_letters-270x270The Baskerville Society, in conjunction with the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University, is pleased to announce the theme for its second two-day conference, The Beauty of Letters: Text, Type, and Communication in the Eighteenth Century.

In his preface to Paradise Lost (1758), John Baskerville described himself as ‘an admirer of the beauty of letters’. This conference takes his phrase as a starting point to explore the production, distribution, consumption and reception, not only of letters, but also words, texts and images during the long eighteenth century (c. 1688–1820). This conference will consider how writing, printing, performance and portrayal contributed to the creation of cultural identity and taste, assisted the spread of knowledge and contributed to political,
economic, social and cultural change in Britain and the wider world.

Writing: teaching of writing and penmanship; styles of handwritten script; copybooks; shorthand; handwritten documents such as diaries, account books, letters, legal and parliamentary documents; the creation of texts by authors, poets and playwrights of the eighteenth century.*

Printing: printers and typefounders; technology and technology transfer; typefaces and typography; manufacture and distribution of texts; libraries, and education; publishing and bookselling; the production of different forms of print media: books, newspapers, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, conduct manuals, scientific and medical literature, histories, travel literature, religious, legal and political texts, ephemera and street literature.

Performance: the enactment and communication of text in theatre, music, politics and education through writing and performance of plays, ballad operas, songs and lyrics; the presentation of scripts and musical scores; censorship; theatre programmes; theatre merchandising; speeches; sermons; scientific lectures.

Portrayal: the visual representation of text in maps; scientific drawings; architectural drawings; astronomical sketches; political/satirical cartoons; posters, labels; signs and shop-fronts including both architectural and fascia lettering; advertising.

*please note the conference is not exploring literary criticism

The Conference organisers, Professor Caroline Archer and Dr Malcolm Dick are inviting contributions from academics, heritage professionals, research students and independent scholars. Please send a suggested title, synopsis (200 words) and biography (100 words) via a word attachment to both: caroline.archer@bcu.ac.uk and m.m.dick@bham.ac.uk; by: 1 July 2014.

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The Baskerville Society is an international society dedicated to the study of the eighteenth-century typographer, printer, industrialist and Enlightenment figure, John Baskerville (1707–75).

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