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SHARP conference 2024

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SHARP 2024 

Global Book Cultures: Materialities, Collaborations, Access

University of Reading, Berkshire, UK. 1-5 July 2024 

Registration is now open: please book here (early bird rates available until end of Friday 24th May – booking closes on Wednesday 12th June)

For advice on travel and how to get to us: Visit us (reading.ac.uk)

June updates: programme overview SHARP2024_PUBLISH_day_programme_June24.docx (2)

Full programme with speakers, titles, and roundtables SHARP 2024 PUBLISH programme_June24.docx (5)

Abstracts booklet: SHARP 2024 Annual Conference_Abstracts Booklet

For fees overview and on-site accommodation costs please see here

SHARP 2024 will explore how books and texts are produced, distributed, and read in global contexts today and in the past. The conference will address how access to book cultures is uneven on many different levels. Taking inspiration from recent work in critical bibliography (Maruca and Ozment, 2022) and transnational print activism (Noorda, Norrick-Rühl, le Roux, 2022) we are seeking papers that will interrogate how book cultures across time can and have been used to resist, question, or otherwise support or reinstate various systems of power and/or oppression.

We encourage contributions from all researchers. SHARP especially encourages submissions from independent scholars, PhD students, and Early Career scholars. We welcome papers and panels exploring book cultures and models of creation, dissemination, and consumption from across the world and in different eras. 

Papers, roundtables, and posters linked to the following suggested themes and topics are invited (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Intersectional Feminist approaches to book cultures 
  • Anti-racist approaches
  • Textual production and class
  • Indigenous studies and book history
  • Intersections between disability studies and book culture 
  • World scripts and non-latin typefaces
  • Transnational distribution
  • Translation: trends, networks, advocacy
  • Multilingual publishing and bookselling
  • Bookmaking, pedagogy, and bibliography using archives and collections 
  • Social justice, global book cultures, and publishing
  • Critical and liberation bibliography 
  • Social media and global book cultures 
  • Genre publishing
  • Secret and surreptitious printing or circulation 
  • Books beyond books 
  • Structures of knowledge; open access; copyright  
  • Citation; co-creators; archives and institutions   
  • Materiality of text and image (both analogue and digital)
  • New book consumption models; bookselling and book-buying networks

Reading’s renowned collections in book, printing and publishing history, and facilities and technical expertise to explore the making of type and printing processes, will underpin our events. The University of Reading is home to The Archive of British Publishing and Printing, Writers’ and Artists Papers, Lettering, Printing and Graphic Design Collections (includes Isotype, non-latin typeface collection, printing presses, Ephemera, C20 posters). 

On Monday and Friday of the conference, in-person delegates will be able to explore our Special Collections and Archives on site, with printing sessions/workshops in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, pop-up exhibitions in Special Collections relating to book cultures and publishing, and collections-based workshops led by Reading academics:

Collections and archives – Department of Typography & Graphic Communication (reading.ac.uk)

Collections – Special Collections – Collections – Special Collections (reading.ac.uk)

Format & Attendance 

The conference will primarily be in-person, conducted during UK working hours, with online presentation and attendance available for limited sessions only (not all). There will be some online-only sessions specifically for remote attendees. Keynote talks will be accessible for remote attendees to attend, and will be made available after the conference via SHARP. The online attendance rate will be much reduced/minimal. We endeavour to keep costs as low as possible for in-person attendees and will include differential rates to support students/non-waged. 

You do not need to be a member of SHARP to submit an abstract; however, you will need to be a member to present or otherwise attend the conference. To join SHARP, please visit this page of their website: https://sharpweb.org/membership

Limited travel grants from SHARP are available for students, independent scholars or other researchers lacking the necessary funding to travel to the conference location. Travel grants are awarded by the organizers of the individual conferences in collaboration with the SHARP treasurer. If you would like to be considered for a travel grant, please indicate this when submitting.

To be part of SHARP 2024, please submit one of the following:

Abstracts and panels: of up to 250 words max for a 20 min talk on a particular topic, for a 90 min panel with 3 speakers. These can be pre-arranged between groups (please include an abstract and title for each paper), or submitted individually. We would like to allow an option for remote attendees who may struggle to access the conference during our time zone to pre-record a screencast, which will be shared on the CBCP website in advance of the conference itself (details tbc). 

Roundtables: 60 minute slots featuring up to 5 speakers, delivering short position statements on a theme/topic of no more than 5 minutes in response to questions distributed in advance by the organiser. The bulk of the session should be devoted to discussion. Please include the names of participants, organiser, and the topic you will address (250 words max).

Poster presentations/digital exhibits: Include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a 2-line professional bio of each presenter. 

[We will allow attendees delivering 20 minute papers to be part of a roundtable and/or  contribute to a poster presentation]

On registration, you will be able to sign-up for collections-based workshops (limited numbers, in-person).


Abstracts/roundtables/poster outlines should be sent to “CentreforBookCulturesandPublishing” <lfs19c2@reading.ac.uk> by the end of Friday January 12th 2024. 

Please include a 2 line bio, any affiliation, and your email address. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a travel grant, and also if you intend to present online, rather than in person. This will help our programme committee enormously.

Deliberations of the Programme Committee Jan to February 2024; decisions sent to all candidates by end of Feb 2024. 

April 24 Registrations open through conference website/shopping basket  

SHARP 2024



July 1
July 5


University of Reading
Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom + Google Map
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