Sunday, November 21, 2010

Call for Papers: The Art of the Book


The Art of the Book

A one-day symposium sponsored by the Grace Slack McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College and the Office of Academic Programs at Historic Deerfield

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011

Location: Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, Massachusetts

In an age of Kindles, iBooks and internet services such as Google Books, electronic media challenges the very notion of the printed book. As useful as they are, electronic resources can neither replace the sensory engagement that comes with opening a book and viewing, reading, and turning its pages nor replicate the artistry and technical skill evident in a book's design, materials, printing, and binding. This one-day symposium aims to explore, and to celebrate, the materials, methods, and settings of books and the bookmakers' art.

They invite papers that will explore the workshops and presses, the bookbinders and booksellers, the readers, bibliophiles, and librarians who have made, traded in, and treasured books in New England and beyond. How have workshops and small presses contributed to the genre of the livre d'artiste established after WWII? What do homemade books such as scrapbooks, drawing books, and journals say about the experiences and aspirations of their makers and readers? How are illustrated books such as architectural and fashion design manuals, scientific and natural history books, children's books, comic books, and graphic novels designed to convey non-textual information? What was the physical experience of producing and distributing books? In short, how can we understand the material world of books from the perspective of their makers and users?

They invite papers that explore bookmaking from a variety of perspectives, considering the products not only of professional artists and trained artisans but also of students and hobbyists, worked in a variety of media.

Topics that focus on New England are particularly welcome.

Please submit 250-word proposals and a two-page c.v. via electronic mail to Josh Lane and Martha McNamara Proposals should be theoretical or analytical in nature rather than descriptive and should include the title of the paper and the presenter's name.

For further information, please contact Josh Lane( or Martha McNamara(

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2011.

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