UCMS Yearly Seminar: Premodern Reading Cultures Between Transforming Materialities

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This year’s UCMS Seminar, on 14 October 2022, will be devoted to the connections between reading cultures and the transforming material features of the medieval book: from scroll to codex, from parchment to paper, from manuscript to print, and recently from printed to digital facsimiles.

Historical developments

The distinctions between material forms and media have crucially shaped scholarly narratives around books and reading cultures in late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period. A concept such as ‘the printing revolution’ has supported our understanding of the influence of technological developments on the transmission of texts and knowledge, but may simultaneously be criticised for implying a rigid distinction between print and manuscript culture.

Relations between different developments

This seminar will investigate the relations between technological, textual, and cultural developments, paying particular attention to texts and practices that cross traditional divides. Themes that may be discussed include developments and continuities in the characteristics and functions of paratext, images, and decoration, the transmission of specific texts or genres, and reading techniques.

Material forms

Another crucial issue relates to the co-existence of various material forms. Examples include late-medieval scrolls, handwritten copies of printed texts, printed images in manuscripts, written marginalia in printed books, and the digital copies of physical manuscripts.

About the seminar

By bringing together book historical, art historical, literary, and cultural perspectives on these matters, the seminar aims to provide a multidisciplinary outlook on the influence of transforming materialities on the transmission and use of texts. The presentations at the UCMS Seminar not only focus on research results, but may also discuss ongoing research or broader developments within the field.

The event is mainly intended for RMA students, PhD’s and Early Career Scholars, but all those who are interested, in particular all UCMS members, are welcome to attend.

Start date and time
End date and time
Location
Janskerkhof 2-3, room 021
Registration

To register, please send an e-mail to ucms@uu.nl

More information
Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies