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Call for Papers: "The Printed Book in Central Europe" (Deadline: Jan 31, 2017)

St Andrews Book Conference 2017
September 6, 2016

From its origins along the Rhine to its rapid spread eastward, the story of printing and its development in Central Europe is overwhelmingly trans-national. The presses of Königsberg played a critical role spreading Reformation ideas throughout the Baltic world and beyond. The busy printers of Renaissance Prague catered to readers of Latin, Czech, German and Hebrew literature, later Yiddish and Italian as well. But despite the cosmopolitan nature of Central Europe’s print and literary culture, scholars have frequently worked within narrower interpretive frameworks defined by a single linguistic tradition.

This conference, hosted at the University of St Andrews in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, will intentionally cross borders of language, geography, culture, religion and medium as we seek to recover the rich and variegated world of the book in Central Europe (including Germany as well as other central and east European regions). We invite proposals on a variety of topics and welcome those that seek connections across fields and areas of study.

Possible themes include: books crossing borders—the licit and illicit movement of literature; censorship and the control of print culture; book buying, collecting and building libraries; the transnational world of printers; the transition from scribal to print culture; printing in a multilingual context; Jewish print culture and its interaction with a Christian world; books crossing cultures: development of travel literature/facing the Turk/fascination with exotica/impact of discovery; books in a confessional age; books and new modes of learning.

Co-organized by Dr. Howard Louthan and Drew Thomas, the conference will take place 29 June to 1 July. Those interested in giving a paper are asked to offer a title and a brief synopsis (300 words) of their proposed contribution. Proposals should be sent to Drew Thomas ( by 31 January 2017.