40th Annual Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies
Keynote Speakers: Jeffrey Hamburger, Derek Pearsall.
*Call for Papers*
Scholars are invited to submit paper proposals for the sessions described below. Feel free to expand or redirect the focus of these topics, in line with your own interests and/or research. The deadline for submission of paper titles and abstracts of no more than 300 words is January 15, 2013; please send them directly to Susan L’Engle.
When considering manuscript production, what defines a masterpiece? Is it a particularly well-written, well-scribed, well-painted book? Is it an object that gains fame or notoriety for any variety of reasons? This session seeks to reassess the term “masterpiece” in regards to manuscript studies. Papers that identify any aspect of what makes a work a masterpiece in the broadest or most minute sense of the word are welcome.
Which visual or scribal effects go above and beyond the typical decoration of a manuscript and make a reader say “wow!”? Leaves stained purple, words written in gold, exquisite book binding, and trompe l’oeil effects are only some of the visual fireworks that this session seeks. Papers providing contextual or theoretical approaches to visual exceptionalism are most welcome.
Provenance and Pedigree
Collecting and collectors are the focus of this session. What happens when the reputation of a book comes from its owner rather than the importance of the text, the author, or the artist? Conversely, could a single book make the reputation of an entire collection? This session seeks papers that address the post-production art market and the bibliophilic tradition, medieval or modern.
Sex, Bawdiness, and the Troubadour Tradition in Manuscript Production
This session is dedicated to the tradition of luxury manuscripts including popular music or romantic verse. Scholars are encouraged to present papers with goliardic, secular themes and to consider such questions as: Who was the audience or the artist of such manuscripts? How were the books used? What was the process of transmission from oral to written culture?