fredag, december 16, 2005

4th International Conference on the Book, Boston (deadline Jan. 15)

Overall Theme 2006: SAVE, CHANGE or DISCARD — Tradition and Innovation in the World of Books

In the world of books – in both highly developed and in developing economies – we live in a world of change, even in a dizzying swirl of change. Because of the profound changes in the way books come to be, technology has even changed the way we think. The swirl of change touches every part of the book making and using process. 

Technology changes the way we write, edit, design and manufacture books. Demographic changes force realignments of traditional structures for marketing and distribution of books. Giant corporations gobble up smaller publishers while new small publishers are born nonetheless, but under different economic and editorial circumstances. Small bookstores die off; giant superstores replace them, or consumers skip the bookstore altogether and shop on-line. Long established book reviewing journals lose their readerships, or traditionally respected book award committees are attacked as elitist while Internet-driven consumer rankings of favorite books take the place of expert opinions. What’s down used to be up, what’s out used to be in, what’s next nobody knows. 

And yet, repeatedly, we discover irreplaceable value in the past. An indexer working with a pencil and paper, on index cards, outdoes a computer driven indexing program. No amount of on-line hype outperforms sales representatives who call on booksellers and sell to them, face to face. An editor nurtures an author through one, two, three books until finally one emerges to confirm the editor’s original instinct: There was genius here waiting for development. A designer uses the ancient principles of the golden mean and low technology tools (a ruler, compass and pencil), then wins an award for creativity. The list can be extended. Nothing entirely new is ever divorced completely from the past. As the Shakers put it, ‘history is to the community what memory is to the individual’. 

The conference addresses, broadly, in the world of books: what modes of thinking and creativity and doing business should be saved from the past; what modes of thinking and creativity and doing business are changing, for better or worse, in the present; and modes of thinking and creativity and doing business from the past we could just as well do without. 

Theme 1: Writers’ Ways with Words: Past, Present, Future
Theme 2: Editors’, Designers’ and Typesetters’ Ways with Words and Images: Past, Present, Future
Theme 3: Publishers' Ways with Books: Past, Present, Future
Theme 4: Book Printing and Manufacturing: What’s New, What’s Next?
Theme 5: Librarians' and Archivists’ Ways with Words and Images: Past, Present, Future
Theme 6: Booksellers' and Distributors’ Ways with Books
Theme 7: Learners' Ways with Words and Images: Past, Present, Future
Theme 8: Readers', Viewers’ and Listeners’ Ways with Words and Images: Past, Present, Future

The deadline for the next round call for papers is 15 January 2006.

Presentations accepted so far can be viewed in the Session Description area of this site.

Presentation Formats  

In-person Presentations: The conference organising committee is currently inviting proposals to present 30 minute papers, 60 minute workshops, jointly presented 90 minute colloquium sessions, or Virtual submissions. These might describe ‘real world’ initiatives or they might be academic research papers.

Presenters may choose to submit their papers for refereeing and publication at any time before the conference, and up until one month after the conference. Participants requiring full refereeing before the conference are advised to submit their papers at least three months before the conference.

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