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RSA 2020 Philadelphia Calls for Papers
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Mapping the Page in Early Modern Print

Posted By Deborah Solomon, Friday, May 17, 2019
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2019

The purpose of this session is to investigate the topographies, geographies, and spaces of the early modern page. Early modern printers were mapmakers of sorts; from books to broadsides, their design choices  influence ways that readers travel across the page. The topography of the page appears on a micro-level: grooves of type bite into soft fibers of the paper, creating indentations and leaving ink marks. Impressed lines of woodcuts create micro-hills and valleys on the page. On a macro level, the verbal text, images, printer’s flowers, lines, white space, varying typography, and lines of type to guide the reader through the text.

Readers are mapmakers as well, making turns and leaving traces as they traverse lines of type and printed material. Readers make marks on their journeys through the text, leaving traces of physical presence and ideas on the pages.

We invite papers on the subject of mise-en-page, graphic design, reader interaction, and failed or flourishing layouts on the page. We welcome papers on early modern diagrams, illustrations, decorative printing, moving parts of the page (volvelles, flaps, etc), marginalia and marks of use that predict or mark the reader’s journey as a reader and user of the page.

Submissions from all disciplines are welcome.

Please submit your paper proposal no later than 31 July, 2019, to Deborah Solomon ( Each proposal must include the following:

  •   Name, university affiliation (if applicable), email address
  •   Paper Title
  •   Abstract (250-word maximum) 
  •   3 Keywords
  •  A very brief curriculum vitae (150-word maximum)

Tags:  book history  graphic design  mise-en-page  textual studies 

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