Book Culture From Below

The 18th annual conference for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing begins on Tuesday in Helsinki, Finland. Titled "Book Culture From Below," the conference's focus is book culture among 'everyday' readers (peasants and proletarians). More than 250 scholars from various fields will delve into topics like Twentieth-Century Reading and Book Markets, Private Libraries in Rural Cultures, Publishing Fairy Tales in New Contexts, Transmission of Books and Manuscripts, and Materiality of Books, among others. The program lists numerous panel discussions and lectures (with links to PDF documents that contain abstracts on each topic). A few of the events will be available through webcasts.

Book historians doing webcasts? In a recent email, SHARP's vice-president, Dr. Ian Gadd of Bath Spa University wrote, "SHARP 2010 in Helsinki will be the most online SHARP conference yet, with webcasting, Facebook, Flickr photographs, and Twitter." So there are ways for those of us with an interest (that is not necessarily academic) to participate in this fascinating conference.

It should also be noted that SHARP recently redesigned its website, which is now a scholarly nook for book history news, academic events, and research guides.