The People of Print: Printers, Stationers, and Booksellers, c. 1500-1830

Scientific meeting

External link
Begins on: Thursday 12 September 2019.
Ends on: Saturday 14 September 2019.
Location: Sheffield
Related institutions: University of Sheffield
Whether we view them as tastemakers, ideological brokers, or entrepreneurial opportunists, the personnel of the book trade undeniably shaped the book cultures of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. While capital, technology, and markets are all powerful factors in the trade’s development, its people are its most significant agents. Current research across periods is demonstrating the creative agency of book trade personnel, and the extent of their cultural and political engagement. As recent monographs and essay collections demonstrate, book trade history in this period is now firmly established as a field of study: James Raven, Publishing Business in Eighteenth-Century England (2017) and The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade, 1450-1850 (2007); Lisa Maruca, The Work of Print: Authorship and the English Text Trades, 1660-1760 (2007); Marta Straznicky, ed., Shakespeare’s Stationers: Studies in Cultural Bibliography (2013); Kirk Melnikoff, Elizabethan Publishing and the Makings of Literary Culture (2018); Kathleen Tonry, Agency and Intention in English Print, 1476-1526 (2016). Much remains to be done, however, to understand and theorise the cultural and social activities, subjectivities, and identities of book trade personnel. This interdisciplinary conference will re-evaluate their roles, and explore directions for future research. We seek to draw together book history, printing history, reading history, and literary studies.
Related keywords: actors of the book trade, book trade, bookseller, printer, publisher