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CFP: Places, Spaces and the Printing press: Imprinting Regional Identities (Ljubljana, Oct 6-9, 2020)

‘Place’ is a physical entity and relates to specific locations—geographical or architectural—where particular activities are conducted. ‘Space’, on the other hand, is abstract; it is the intellectual, cultural and experiential environment in which individuals or groups congregate and collaborate. Place and space are significant to the progress of all trades, but, with the exception of the James Raven's Bookscape: geographies of printing and publishing in London, these concepts have generally been overlooked when it comes to printing and the products of the press.

Place and space are, however, instrumental to the creation of a printed vernacular aesthetic; important elements in dictating print’s local working practices and the development of trade specialisms; crucial to facilitating print’s relations with other industries; fundamental to forging connections between people both inside and outside the trade; and central to the transfer of knowledge, materials and techniques necessary for technological advancement. The purpose of this conference is, therefore, to consider how the places and spaces associated with printing may have affected the development of the press and its products; and, conversely, how the press and its products may have helped shape the places it occupied and assisted in the creation of regional identity.

The conference will look at the subject from multiple perspectives including, but not limited to aesthetics, culture, design, distribution, technology, trade networks, and the social and economic aspects of regional printing. It will cover printing and print in all regions, all eras and all genres including books, magazines, newspapers, and printed ephemera.

Proposals are welcome from historians of the book, printing and print culture; social, cultural and economic historians; bibliographers, librarians, conservationists, bibliophiles and book collectors; and practitioners including printers, binders, typographers, graphic designers and type designers.

Proposals: We are inviting proposals for 20-minute papers and one-hour panel presentations of three people. These proposals should include:

For papers: a title; a brief summary of c. 200 words; a brief biography of c. 200 words and full contact details.

For panel presentations: a title; an overview of the panel in c. 400 words; brief biographies of c. 200 words each and full contact details.

Proposals should be submitted as word documents and forwarded to both: Caroline Archer ( and Ines Vodopivec ( All proposals will be peer-reviewed by an combined panel appointed from the Centre for Printing History and Culture and the National and University Library, Slovenia.

Deadline for proposals: 17 April 2020.

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