Papers are being sought for “Books and Reading in the Mediterranean,” a session organised by Sabrina Corbellini (University of Groningen)/Konrad Hirschler (Free University Berlin) to be held at the conference of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean to be held in Ghent (Belgium) on 10-12 July 2017.
The panel aims at creating a platform for the discussion of current research into the history of books, the history of reading and on the intersection of textual, social and cultural history in the Mediterranean area, as a point of convergence of texts, cultures, religions and commercial networks. Challenging traditional religious and cultural boundaries, such as between the West-European Christian and the North-African Islamic worlds, the session will approach the medieval Mediterranean as a laboratory for the writing of connected histories of the dissemination and the sharing of books and knowledge and the creation of specific “lieux de savoir” (using the spatial terminology coined by Christian Jacob) where knowledge is created, kept, disseminated, transformed and shared. Cases in point will be:
• the comparative investigation of private, semi-public and public book collections and libraries: their creation, their use, their organisation and their function within the (urban) space in which they were situated as well as the social and political function of these specific “spaces of knowledge”;
• the study of inter-religious book, reading and collecting activities;
• the comparative study of the “ethics of reading” and of the “ethics of book sharing and collecting”, leading to a reflection on the impact of textual cultures in the creation and development of communities.
For more information on the conference cf. http://www.smm2017.ugent.be/