Writing Across Cultures in the Early Modern World (RBS-Mellon Symposium)

Date: 6 October 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Location: University of California Santa Cruz, Humanities 1, Room 210
Presented by: The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and the University of California Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research

In the past decade, historians and literary scholars have become increasingly interested in the global circulation of the written word. Much of this scholarship has focused on the movement of printed books. Other projects, such as Stanford’s Mapping the Republic of Letters initiative, have traced epistolary networks that spanned continents and oceans. But what about the cross-cultural movement of textual artifacts that weren’t books or letters? This symposium will explore the limits of book history. At what point does an object shade into being a textual artifact? How can we make space for a less Eurocentric book history by following the itineraries of objects, like textiles, tattoos, or mummies, which encoded information in ways that differed from the format of book or the letter?