In the first 150 years of European printed book production (c. 1450-1600), the new medium of print evolved from its indebtedness to manuscript culture into a full-grown means of communication and articulation. How were reading experiences shaped both by producers and users of vernacular books? Who read in the vernacular, why, and how? These are the central questions of the international and interdisciplinary conference ‘Vernacular Books and Reading Experiences in the Early Age of Print’, which will take place from 25 to 27 August 2021 at Leiden University Library and online.
The participants approach reading as an embodied, material practice that is affected both by texts and their presentation, with a particular interest in the interplay between language, form and content, and between intended and actual readers. With contributions ranging from papers on Dutch, French, German to Hungarian and from prayer texts to romances, chronicles and medical handbooks, the conference covers a variety of languages, regions and genres. Thus, it aims to contribute to the next step towards a comparative study of printing strategies and users’ practices in the first 150 years of printing vernacular books in Europe.
All those interested are welcome to attend online. Attendance is free but registration is required.
Full programme and registration here.
Convenors: Dr Anna Dlabačová (Leiden University), Andrea van Leerdam MA (Utrecht University)
Image: The ludo scachorum (detail), Dutch, Gouda: Gerard Leeu, 1479. The University of Manchester Library, Incunable 17262