Call for Papers: Conference “Reading Communities and the Circulation of Print: Australia, China, and Britain in the 19th Century”

Canberra, Australia
23-24 April 2014
Deadline: 15th Dec 2013

This two-day conference investigates the production, circulation and consumption of printed material in Australia, China, and Britain in the long 19th century, when technological improvements in printing, engraving, papermaking, and transport made the production and distribution of texts easier and increased opportunities for education led to rising literacy rates. Over the century, the proportion of travellers to and migrants from these three areas also increased. How did the movement of people across space and culture influence publishing and reading practices? Is the nation a relevant framework for examining histories of print culture and its circulation in this period? In what ways have histories of reading and print culture in Australia, China and Britain intersected? How has the relationship between reading and its contexts been theorized and researched? We aim to bring scholars interested in the history of reading and print culture across these different national contexts into conversation with each other, and to provide a forum for discussing the state of the discipline, in Australia and globally.

We invite proposals exploring topics related to:

  •     transnational print culture and reading histories in the long 19th century
  •     studies of local readerships and their connections to international print cultures
  •     the reception of books and newspapers across multiple geographies
  •     international networks of publishing and distribution
  •     readers of translations or bilingual texts
  •     the relationship between reading and sociability
  •     diverse reading practices and habits of national and international reading communities
  •     other investigations of the relationships between printers, publishers, editors, authors, and readers

We especially welcome papers that examine texts and readerships that crossed national borders and challenge nation-based paradigms of print and reading culture. Confirmed speakers include: James Raven (Essex), T.H. Barrett (SOAS), Lydia Wevers (Victoria University of Wellington), Martyn Lyons (UNSW) and Paul Eggert (UNSW Canberra).

Please send proposals of no more than 350 words to Sue Chen ( and Julieanne Lamond ( by 15 December 2013.


Visit the conference website at: External Link






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