The Beginning of the Book, 18 March 2016

One-day conference, Friday 18 March 2016, 10am-6pm

Lecture Room 1, Arts Complex, 3-5 Woodland Road, University of Bristol

When we open a book it is likely that we will have to leaf through several pages before arriving at the authorial text – what we are conditioned to think of as the ‘text proper’. How often do we stop to read and reflect on the preliminary matter which occupies the space between the cover and the text we have opened the book to read? What kind of material is included in the frontmatter, and what purpose does it serve? How does the inclusion of paratextual support matter reflect developments in the evolution of the codex and how much does it lead developments in book design and our conception of literary history?

This one-day conference brings together scholars working within different historical periods (from the beginnings of the codex to the present) and with different languages and genres in order to explore continuities and variance in the development of the codex, focusing on the preliminary pages which make up a book object.

A draft programme is available: Draft programme_18Feb

Attendance at this conference is free, and registration is now open: register here.