Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
The Pre-Modern Book in a Global Context:
Materiality and Visuality
October 21 and 22, 2016
Binghamton University Downtown Center
(67 Washington St., Binghamton)
The year 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) at Binghamton University. In celebration of fifty years of research in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, CEMERS is hosting a conference on the materiality and visuality of the pre-modern book (from late antiquity until 1600).
The twenty-first century has witnessed the technological transformation of the study of the history of the book. Digital technology now allows for the precise capture and reproduction of texts in all their visual specificity, which makes possible the compilation of vast databases for "distant reading." Yet, as any scholar of the book recognizes, the original artifact retains an aura that technology cannot duplicate or fully explain: an encounter with a pre-modern book is an encounter with a textual presence in all its ineffable alterity.
This two-day conference addresses all aspects of the study of the pre-modern book as artifact. Plenary speakers include Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia) and Sarah Fiddyment (University of York), Lucille Chia (University of California, Riverside), Megan Hale Williams (San Francisco State), and David Roxburgh (Harvard University). A plenary panel on technology and the study of the book will feature William Noel (University of Pennsylvania), Suzanne Paul (Cambridge University), and Paola Ricciardi (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK).