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Beyond the printing press: alternative means of production in the global history of print


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26 JUN 2019 • ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY, LONDON
One day international conference

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Beyond the printing press: alternative means of production in the global history of print


• • •

26 JUN 2019 • ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY, LONDON
One day international conference

REGISTER TO ATTEND

Typewriters, duplicators, copiers, and a myriad other means of production and reproduction of textual/visual matter have been a vital part of print cultures across the world. The ‘agents of change’ in the global history of printing and publishing, across the twentieth century in particular, have been other processes, other mechanisms, other devices than the printing press. This conference focuses on the role of such alternative or additional means of knowledge production and dissemination – tools like stencils, mimeographs, duplicators, photocopiers, the processes of strike-on and rub-down lettering, cyclostyle, xerography, to name just a few – alongside parallels, intersections, and continuations: handwriting, orality, other long-standing as well as short-lived ways of communication that have shaped expectations and outcomes. Despite their marginal location in print history such means and processes have had significant influence in wide-ranging contexts of political activism, countercultures, resistance and student movements, and in confronting and challenging censorship. But they have also been indispensable in mundane office use, have permeated public spaces and discourses, and played a key role in the day-to-day personal consumption of, and access to, information. 

We invite papers that examine the global history of small-scale technologies as well as the situational or selective deployment of alternative modes of information production and circulation across the world, beyond or alongside the printing press. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, practical and theoretical aspects, business history, design and manufacture, the publications and publics of such endeavours, as well as practice-based enquiries and archival questions related to the longevity or ephemerality of their productions. The conference is particularly interested in investigations of Asian and African contexts where such alternatives may have had other functions or entirely different implications. Papers addressing oral histories, narratives of personal engagement, case studies of contextual adaptation and use are welcome, as are those that explore connections between geographical, socioeconomic, and linguistic contexts of printing through other means.


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△ THE FAST DUPLICATOR Gujarati advertisement for making ‘perfect and clear copies of hand writing, type writing, drawings, etc’. J. B. & Co., Jetpur, Kathiawar, 1928. (Image courtesy of Contextual Alternate)


CALL FOR PAPERS
We invite proposals for papers of 20-minute duration. Please send an abstract (300 words) and short bio (150 words) to conference@contextual-alternate.com

Deadline for abstract submission: 10 April 2019
Notification of acceptance: 15 April 2019
Date of conference: 26 June 2019
Conference venue: Lecture Hall, Royal Asiatic Society
Venue address: 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD
Conference convener: Dr Vaibhav Singh, University of Reading
Email enquiries: conference@contextual-alternate.com

Registration fees (£10 early-booking, £20 regular) apply to speakers and attendees of this conference. We are unable to cover costs involved in travel and accommodation, however, early career researchers presenting at the conference will be reimbursed for economy travel (within UK). Tea/coffee and refreshments will be provided during the conference. Please register before 22 June 2019 as places are limited.

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Conference registration
Early-booking concession: £10 (before 15 April 2019)
Regular conference registration: £20 (from 16 April 2019)
Date of conference: 26 June 2019
Venue: Royal Asiatic Society, London
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