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Migrations of The Book, October 14-15, 2021

The Migrations of the Book virtual conference brings together a community of scholars from across disciplines and around the globe to investigate how books act both as vehicles for, and monuments of cultural exchange, and to consider what we may learn from this persistent tension between constancy and mutability that is so integral to the medium.

About the conference

What happens to a text when it is transported from its native Spain to the colonial frontiers of Mexico?
How is our consideration of a Science Fiction pulp magazine augmented when its fantastical contents become commonplace in our daily lives?
What can book conservators teach us about how a book has been influenced by the tastes and biases of its prior readers?
What role do material texts play in the lives of the displaced or dispossessed?

The book is a critical concept as resilient as it is amorphous, as fixed as it is fluid. It operates as a place of memory, where communication, intellectual advancement, and cultural contact may be reposed and retrieved. As often, however, books are characterized by their movement and circulation, as well as their ability to be reconstructed and reconsidered in different contexts to create new meaning.

Migrations of the Book brings together a community of scholars from across disciplines and around the globe to investigate how books act both as vehicles for, and monuments of cultural exchange, and to consider what we may learn from this persistent tension between constancy and mutability that is so integral to the medium.

How to attend  

  • This is a virtual conference is free and open to the public.
  • Please register, and a Zoom link will be sent to you 24 hours before the start of the event.
  • Registration closes 24 hours before the event.
  • The conference will be recorded. 
  • Note: All times are in central daylight time. 

Accommodation Requests 

If you require an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact Dr. Marini, fmarini@library.tamu.edu, to communicate your needs. Early notification is encouraged, and a request 5 workdays before the event you plan to attend will facilitate the provision of a reasonable accommodation.

About the Conference Organizer 

Kevin M. O’Sullivan is Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts for the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives at Texas A&M University, where he also serves as the Director of the Book History Workshop.

Conference Schedule

Panel One: Textual Reuse | 8:00am - 9:30am

  • Sarah Bull (Ryerson University), “Theorizing Fugitive Text Migration in Nineteenth-Century Books”
  • Laura Moretti (University of Cambridge), “Hybrid Delights: The Porous Boundaries Between Ephemera and Books in Nineteenth-Century Japan”
  • Helga Müllneritsch (Uppsala University), “Transmission and Permanence of Recipes in Manuscripts”

Panel Two: Material Meanings | 9:45am - 11:15am

  • Todd Samuelson (University of Utah), “Scrap Circulation: Charting the Movement of Printers’ Waste”
  • Helen Magowan (University of Cambridge), “Content is King? Materiality and Meaning in an Early Modern Japanese Printed Copybook”
  • Anthony Chapman-Joy (University of London / British Library), “Commune, Caricatures, Conservation: The Migration of Political Cultures After Upheaval”

Panel three: Provenance | 11:30am - 1:00pm

  • Alex Bubb (Roehampton University), “Grassroots Provenance Studies: Evidence of ‘Ordinary’ Readers and their Reception of Translations”
  • Nathalia Henrich (The Catholic University of America), Fabiano Cataldo de Azevedo (Federal University of Bahia - UFBA), and Luciana Martins (Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro - UNIRIO), “From Private Library to Special Collections: Tracing the History of the Oliveira Lima Library Through Provenance Research”
  • Drew B. Thomas (University College Dublin), “Collecting Luther’s Counterfeits: The Undetected Migration of False Imprints Across Centuries and Collections”

Panel Four: Institutional Collecting | 1:30pm - 3:00pm

  • Sumayya Ahmed (Simmons University) and Theo Dumothier (Simmons University), “Plotting the Journey: Ibn Battuta’s Rihla Manuscript and the Silence of Colonial Confiscations”
  • Ana Paula Sampaio Caldeira (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Mariana de Moraes Silveira (Federal University of Minas Gerais), “Fleeting Libraries: The Connected Histories of the Oliveira Lima and Quesada Collections”
  • Lauren Gottlieb-Miller (Menil Collection), “The Kokomo Books: ‘Black Americana’ in the Menil Collection Library”

Panel Five: Knowledge & Location | 8:00am - 9:30am

  • Patricia May B. Jurilla (University of the Philippines in Diliman), “The Colonial Book as a Cross-Cultural Artefact, or The Curious Case of a Seventeenth-Century Book from Manila”
  • Tim Sommer (University of Heidelberg / University of Edinburgh), “Migrating Authors and Migrating Books in the Early Black Atlantic: Phillis Wheatley, Francis Williams, Olaudah Equiano”
  • Bill Bell (Cardiff University), “Books in Utopia”

Panel Six: Textual Assimilation | 9:45am - 11:15am

  • Derek Kane O’Leary (University of South Carolina, Columbia), "Rafn's Antiquiates Americanae (1837) and the Attempt to Rewrite Atlantic History"
  • Eileen A. Horansky (Yale University), “From Nation to Nationalism: Making and Remaking Texts in Charlotte Brooke’s Reliques of Ancient Irish Poetry and Matilda Potter’s Mount Erin
  • Madeline Keyser (Indiana University), “Ovid’s Metamorphoses 'Verteutscht': Translating Ovid in Early Modern Germany”

Keynote Lecture | 11:30am-1:00pm

  • Nandini Das (University of Oxford), "Singing the Book: Travellers, Traitors, and Books at the Crossroads of Empires"

Panel Seven: Knowledge & Location II | 1:15pm - 2:45pm

  • Andrew B. Wertheimer (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa), “Retracing the Shadows of Migrant Libraries: Unearthing Japanese Libraries in Prewar Hawaiʻi”
  • Elisabeth Brander (Washington University in St. Louis), “From West to East: Medical Illustrations in Rangaku
  • Noriko Asato (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa), “Porters, Importers, Jobbers, Booksellers, and Readers: Exploring Japanese Book Distribution in Hawaiʻi, 1896-1941”

Panel Eight: Institutional Collecting | 3:00pm - 4:30pm

  • John Rodzvilla (Emerson College), “Where Have All the Readers Gone? A Topology of Digital Books”
  • Jessica Bigelow (Indiana University), “The Steward of Book History in the Digital Age: The Struggles and Rewards of Collecting eBooks and eReaders for Special Collections Institutions”
  • Michael Hancher (University of Minnesota), “Banishing Books from Academic Libraries"