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BSA Goes Online for Bibliography Week 2021

From January 25–29, 2021 the Bibliographical Society of America will celebrate Bibliography Week with a series of events designed to demonstrate bibliographical practice and its relevance to interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities.

Bibliographical study and analysis require the ability to closely analyze the macro and the minute details of the material text and the ability to situate individual examples within broader media and other cultural ecosystems. In the practice of bibliography this is never either/or; it is always both/and. We cannot do justice to the material objects without rigorous close looking and aggressive contextualization. Without this combination, it’s not possible to build the histories that we need to understand our world. BSA’s 2021 Bibliography Week programming will highlight scholars from across disciplines and professions who put this dual practice into action, engaging newcomers and experts alike.

This year’s annual meeting will feature a talk by the 2020 BSA-St. Louis Mercantile Prize co-winner Dr. Derrick R. Spires (Cornell University) entitled Liberation Bibliography. Drawing on liberation theology, Black Studies, Black feminist criticism, and feminist bibliography, this talk offers liberation bibliography as a conscious and intentional practice of identifying and repairing the harms of systemic racism, anti-blackness, sexism, heteronormativity, and other oppressive forces in and through bibliographical study, broadly conceived. Liberation bibliography makes visible those knowledge systems and sites of knowledge production, activism, and possibility that institutions have historically rendered invisible or irrelevant. At the same time, it changes and challenges how we do this work, with scholars and projects focusing simultaneously on the ethics of studying “the book” at the same time as they engage in an ongoing reconsideration of citational practices, archives, power, and our relation to them.

During Bibliography Week and throughout the year, the BSA is committed to fostering the study of material texts in ways that highlight the diversity and richness of the world’s vast collections of textual artifacts and the people who study them. As the Society actively works to broaden the content of our journal, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA), we invite all those interested in learning more about publishing with us to join an info session on Wednesday. PBSA, published by the University of Chicago Press, seeks articles on book and manuscript production, publication, distribution, collecting, and reading in all periods, geographical regions, and media, as well as editorial and textual scholarship across all disciplines. The journal publishes original articles, book reviews, bibliographical notes, and review essays.

Continue reading for more information about what you can start looking forward to. Please also find more details about Bibliography Week in the full schedule of events on our website. Don’t forget to register!

We look forward to seeing you online soon.


Both/And: Bibliography in Action

BSA will host a series of four virtual panels that demonstrate the usefulness and relevance of bibliography for scholars, librarians, booksellers, collectors, and the bookish community at large. In panels scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the moderators and panelists will look together at a single textual object, making connections between physical features (e.g., paper, typeface, binding, marginalia), provenance, and the broader historical contexts in which these objects were first made and have since survived to the present. Thursday’s panel, “Reproduction & the Mesoamerican Book,” will focus on multiple texts that have appeared in different media forms through time, demonstrating the overlap between bibliography and media studies and exploring relationships between form, context, and content.

Click on the event titles below for abstracts and links to presenter bios, or visit the BSA website for a full schedule of BSA Bibliography Week events.

Monday, January 25: Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral (1773). Moderated by Jonathan Senchyne, with panelists Ashley Cataldo, Brigitte Fielder, and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Co-sponsored by Pirages Fine Books and Hindman Auctions

Tuesday, January 26: The Zamorano Press and Printing in Mexican California. Moderated by Kirsten Silva Gruesz, with panelists Gerald W. Cloud, Gary F. Kurutz, and Theresa Salazar
Co-sponsored by Getmans Virtual Book Fair and viaLibri.net

Wednesday, January 27:  A Picture of Slavery for Youth: Creating Young Abolitionists. Moderated by Dorothy J. Berry, with panelists Krystal Appiah, Jesse Erickson, and Deborah De Rosa
Sponsored by the CABS-Minnesota

Thursday, January 28: Bibliographical Legacies: Reproduction & the Mesoamerican Book. Moderated by Alex Hidalgo, with panelists Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Dominique Polanco, Kim N. Richter, and Corinna Zeltsman
Sponsored by the Seminario Interdisciplinario Bibliología, Universidad Autónoma de México

In more flexible times the Society might organize these discussions for a small group in a special collections setting to orient the discussion around the objects themselves. The benefit of the virtual program, however, is that we can convene a larger group and share digital surrogates in advance with panelists and audience-members alike. Please do take a close look at the books that our moderators have selected by clicking on the links to digital copies available via the registration pages linked above.

All four of the Both/And panels will be captioned live in English and in Spanish simultaneously, thanks to sponsorship from Patrick Olson Rare Books.

 

The 2021 New Scholars Program

Sponsored by Les Enluminures

In the virtual setting, attendees will choose to join one of our three New Scholars for a presentation of their 15-minute paper, followed by a focused Q&A with that Scholar in an individual breakout room. After the individual presentations, all attendees and Scholars will reconvene for a general Q&A and a discussion of what it’s like to be an emerging scholar working on bibliography in the present moment.

The 2021 New Scholars are:

  • Mathieu D. S. Bouchard, Pantzer New Scholar
    A Revised Account of the 1714 Works of Mr. William Shakespear
  • Dr. Sophia Brown, Malkin New Scholar
    Paratexts and Prize Culture: A Case Study of Contemporary Arab Writing in the Anglophone Market
  • Ryan Low, BSA New Scholar
    Community of the Written Word: The Spread of Notarial Registers in Medieval Provence

Please see the full schedule of events for abstracts of the 2021 New Scholars’ talks. There will be a brief intermission between the New Scholars Program and the Annual Meeting.

Sponsored by Les Enluminures.

Annual Meeting Keynote Lecture: “Liberation Bibliography”

Sponsored by Christie’s

This year the Annual Meeting will open with the keynote lecture, “Liberation Bibliography” by Dr. Derrick R. Spires at 3:30 pm EST.

What use does bibliographical study serve in a moment of national reckoning (once again again) with systemic racism and open white supremacy? What does it mean to do bibliography in a time when digitization and open-access have made more texts available—if not accessible—to more people than ever before? Dorothy B. Porter provides one directive in the introduction to her A Working Bibliography on the Negro in the United States (1969): “Unless order is brought to this literary outpouring, the flood will overwhelm those who are most in need of this literature. Selective, authoritative bibliographies are essential in improving access to negro literature.”  Writing some forty years later, Barbara Fister echoes Porter’s insistence on access and a focus on reaching those who need literature the most: “Liberation bibliography rests on the idea that the role of libraries is not just to provide access to information but to provide access that is liberating.” Both Porter and Fister offer instances of what this talk discusses in terms of Liberation Bibliography. Drawing on liberation theology, Black Studies, Black feminist criticism, and feminist bibliography, this talk offers liberation bibliography as a conscious and intentional practice of identifying and repairing the harms of systemic racism, anti-blackness, sexism, heteronormativity, and other oppressive forces in and through bibliographical study, broadly conceived. Projects from David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World (1829) to the Colored Conventions Project (2021) model liberation bibliography as a practice of freedom: it is not destination, but rather an ethics and methodology. It marks the necessity of thinking bibliography through the needs of minoritized and oppressed communities and centers the ongoing work—both traditional and non-traditional—emanating from these communities. Liberation bibliography makes visible those knowledge systems and sites of knowledge production, activism, and possibility that institutions have historically rendered invisible or irrelevant. Finally, liberation bibliography changes and challenges how we do this work, with scholars and projects focusing simultaneously on the ethics of studying “the book” at the same time as they engage in an ongoing reconsideration of citational practices, archives, power, and our relation to them.

The 2021 Annual Meeting

Folio Sponsors of the Annual Meeting:
The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of AmericaThe Brick Row Book Shop •  Thomas A Goldwasser Rare BooksMusinsky Rare Books, Inc.

Quarto Sponsors of the Annual Meeting:
Austin Abbey Rare BooksDe Simone Company, BooksellerBruce McKittrick Rare BooksKate Mitas, BooksellerRichard C. Ramer, Old & Rare BooksCharles B. Wood Antiquarian Bookseller

The Annual meeting will conclude the day’s virtual events at 5pm with a brief business meeting as required by our by laws including the election of the Council Class of 2024. We look forward to finishing the day with a toast no later than 5:30 pm EST.

All are welcome to attend; registration is required for all BSA Bibliography Week events and the Annual Meeting and New Scholars Program.

All events scheduled for January 25-28 will be held on Zoom.

Registration will be free and required for all Bibliography Week events, including the New Scholars Program and Annual Meeting. All can attend regardless of their status as a BSA member. Registration pages for each event can be accessed by clicking the linked title of each event.

Registration and Accessibility

Register here for the 2021 Annual Meeting & New Scholars Program. Registration closes at 5pm Eastern on Thursday, January 28.

We can accommodate 1,000 virtual attendees, and we hope that all those who wish to join will be able to do so. Registration is free and open to all – members and non-members alike.

All of BSA Bibliography Week events will be closed-captioned in English; Both/And panels will be live captioned simultaneously in English and Spanish.  All other sessions will be captioned in English with machine-generated captions in Spanish.

If you need special accommodations in order to attend, please contact Executive Director Erin McGuirl.

Professional Conduct During Bibliography Week

All presenters and attendees are required to abide by the terms set forth in the Society’s Events Code of Conduct. The BSA also retains a consultant to serve as a confidential resource on violations of this code of conduct. Any person who is subjected to, or notices that someone else is being subjected to, behavior that violates our code of conduct may report the incident to the consultant, Sherry Marts, who can be reached at sherry@smartsconsulting.com or on ‭(202) 670-7746 and will be on call all week.

Executive Director Erin McGuirl and Sherry Marts will also host an information session about the consultant ombuds’ role and the Code of Conduct, answering questions from BSA members and anyone who wishes to attend. Click here to register to attend; the session will also be posted to our YouTube channel for future reference.