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Canons and Contingence – Art Histories of the Book in England and America

Recent scholarship in bibliography and the history of the book has attended to the ways in which bibliographic media resist, defy, and elude uniformity, even under the greatest technological pressures to
conform. Whether through variables in the production process or through the vagaries of transmission and consumption, each manuscript or printed book carries with it the traces of a unique history. Yet bibliographers and historians of the book have long neglected the role of the visual in these histories, perceiving the pictorial as supplemental to the book, an import from some other medium. At the same time, the book itself has never featured in art history’s triumvirate of media: painting, sculpture, and architecture. In the belief that the book itself is an important medium in the history of art, this symposium brings together scholars who explore how the visual and pictorial features of bibliographic media behave (and can be made to behave) in defiant ways.

Radiclani Clytus, Columbia University
Michael Gaudio, University of Missouri
Aden Kumler, University of Chicago
Phillip Round, University of Iowa
Kathryn Rudy, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Juliet Sperling, University of Pennsylvania
Relevant research areas: North America, Western Europe, Book arts

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