Session Organizers: Andras Kisery (The City College of New York), Caroline Wigginton (University of Mississippi)

Friday, 13 October 2017, 3:45–5:15pm

Bibliography Among the Disciplines Conference, 12–15 October 2017, Philadelphia, PA

Authorship is foundational to the theory and practice of bibliography.  After all, the study of letterpress printing of Western European literary documents was, in its paradigmatic form, practiced as a quest for the authoritative text of the works of William Shakespeare. But as Western bibliography has extended to the study of books in other regions, periods, and forms, the literary author has been joined by other agents of production, circulation, and use, as the artist, the patron, the editor, the reader, the collector, the engraver, and the curator, among others have emerged as additional human foci of bibliographic study. Nor does the individual human agent now seem inevitable as the organizing perspective of our research. Our roundtable seeks to explore notions of authorship in bibliographical research across academic disciplines, and beyond, in practices of collecting, curation, and conservation. We are inviting papers that consider the constitution of authorship in physical, material terms, and use revealing bibliographical case studies to think explicitly about the utility and importance of authorship to the presenters’ particular fields. How do different cultures, geographies, and periods conceptualize (or ignore) the author? How has our attachment to the author shaped, supported, or burdened our particular disciplines? How have our notions of authorship changed over recent decades? What alternatives to authorial perspectives are emerging?

We envision this roundtable as beginning with a few 10-minute position papers, which will be followed by a discussion led by the session organizers and a moderator. The discussion will include presenters and up to 50 additional participants from the conference. To be considered to deliver a position paper, please submit a proposal of no more than 500 words by 25 October 2016 at:


Bibliography Among the Disciplines, a four-day international conference, will bring together scholarly professionals poised to address current problems pertaining to the study of textual artifacts that cross scholarly, pedagogical, professional, and curatorial domains. The conference will explore theories and methods common to the object-oriented disciplines, such as anthropology and archaeology, but new to bibliography. The program aims to promote focused cross-disciplinary exchange and future scholarly collaborations. Bibliography Among the Disciplines is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and organized by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School. For more information, please visit: rarebookschool.org/bibliography-conference-2017