Histories, Theories, and Uses of Waste Paper in Early Modern England - CfP

Call for paper

External link
Deadline: Monday 1 October 2018.
Location: Oxford
Related institutions: University of Oxford
This one-day multidisciplinary conference will explore the manifold afterlives of waste paper in early modern England. Manuscript and printed sheets were frequently reused to wrap later volumes, to stiffen spines and cover the inside of bindings, to line boxes, to serve as notepaper, or (in the words of the poet Henry Fitzgeffrey) ‘to wrap Drugg's’, ‘dry Tobacco in’, and package ‘Pippin-pyes.’ While this cycle of use has long been understood as destructive, it also speaks to a distinctly pre-modern sense of how texts might endure beyond their initial form and function. The archive of waste can help us think about the shifting fate of books across time and within distinct institutional settings, exposing a partially hidden record of the past. How should literary and textual histories incorporate these materials that were cast aside in their own moment?

We seek 15-minute papers that consider the origins, functions, and legacies of waste paper, as well as related practices of textual use, destruction, and care. Multidisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome, as are both archival and theoretical presentations.
Related keywords: manuscript production, paper, printed books