Textual communities. 9th Marco Manuscript Workshop

University of Tennessee, The Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

January 31 – February 1, 2014

* Call for papers *

Deadline: October 15, 2013


For this year’s workshop we invite presentations that explore the manuscript evidence for “textual communities.” This idea was most famously formulated by Brian Stock in his 1983 book _The Implications of Literacy_. Stock argued that “what was essential to a textual community was not a written version of a text, although that was sometimes present, but an individual, who having mastered it, then utilized it for reforming a group’s thought and action‎.” In other words, textual communities arise from but exist apart from books. This year’s Workshop seeks to turn this idea around and return the study of textual communities to their material witnesses in manuscripts and collections. How does our knowledge of textual communities help us understand manuscript evidence? What physical signs reveal the presence or activity of communities of readers and interpreters? What traces do these communities leave in the textual and codicological record? How can we read manuscript evidence – glosses, alterations, translations, compilations, commentaries, libraries, and so on – for signs of the living communities who made, read, and used these books? We welcome presentations on any aspect of this topic, broadly imagined.

The workshop is open to scholars and students at any rank and in any field who are engaged in textual editing, manuscript studies, or epigraphy. Individual 75-minute sessions will be devoted to each project; participants will be asked to introduce their text and its context, discuss their approach to working with their material, and exchange ideas and information with other participants. As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more like a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and frustrations, to offer both practical advice and theoretical insights, and to work together towards developing better professional skills for textual and codicological work. We particularly invite the presentation of works in progress, unusual manuscript problems, practical difficulties, and new or experimental models for studying or representing manuscript texts.

Presenters will receive a stipend of $500 for their participation.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2013. Applicants are asked to submit a current CV and a two-page letter describing their project to Roy M. Liuzza, preferably via email, or by mail to the Department of English, University of Tennessee, 301 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430.

The workshop is also open at no cost to scholars and students who do not wish to present their own work but are interested in sharing a lively weekend of discussion and ideas about manuscript studies. Further details will be available later in the year; please contact Roy Liuzza for more information.



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