CFP: ‘Precarious Lives: Loss, Recovery and/or Survival of MSS & Early Printed Books, 1350-1550’, Early Book Society, Bangor University (12-16 July 2021), deadline 15 March 2021

This conference theme may be as narrowly or broadly interpreted as necessary, though always with reference to the history of MSS and books from 1350 to 1550 and their material culture. Why do some texts survive? Who are their readers or makers? Topics might include evidence of borrowed books or lost books, books or libraries reconstructed from mentions in wills, and MSS and books that clearly derive from a lost original, as well as medieval libraries that are still in existence. Other subjects for consideration are texts that exist only in a singular form but seem to refer to a lost source (lost and found?) or the examination of fragments in bindings or elsewhere. Images are also considered texts, and pictures copied from models no longer extant are another theme to be discussed. Scribes, printers and illustrators who survive shifts in the book trade might also be discussed.   

Theoretical approaches that engage directly with MSS and books are welcome. Proposals for papers that describe MSS and books owned, made or read by women, along with abstracts that engage with MSS and books from outside Western Europe and/or which place Western European MSS and books in dialogue with those from other parts of the globe and other cultures are especially encouraged.  

Proposals for lectures of not more than 15 minutes or groupings of lectures on a similar theme (bring your friends!) are welcome. Topics that consider the transition from script to print, bibliographic issues, or the movement of books within or into Wales are of particular interest. 

Because this conference will be online and in order to accommodate scholars in differing time zones, we are extending the number of days (with shorter time slots). Some papers will be pre-recorded with live session times used to discuss the ideas put forward in a paper or a cluster of papers that have been viewed previously by participants. There will also be informal gatherings where scholars can discuss specific topics as well as wine hours and virtual visits to collections of interest. We will attempt to accommodate all time zones as much as possible.    

Please send your title and abstract (350 words) to the program committee by March 15 2021. These are: Martha Driver at, Raluca Radulescu,, Niamh Pattwell at, and Margaret Connolly at (Please include EBS Conference Abstract VIRTUAL WALES 2021 in the subject line of your email). Those who wish to chair a panel or run an informal discussion are invited to volunteer. 

The conference is free to all paid EBS members, but donations of any amount to support graduate student help with IT issues are most welcome. Please send your membership dues or your donation either to Martha Driver (333 East 53 St Apt 12B NY, NY 10022) or to Margaret Connolly (Lauderdale, Cupar Road, Ceres, Fife Scotland, KY15 5LP UK).


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: