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Calls for Papers & Proposals

In accordance with our identity as an international, interdisciplinary scholarly organization that fosters the study of books and other textual artifacts in traditional and emerging formats, the Bibliographical Society of America pursues its mission by hosting public programs and collaborating with related organizations to do so.

The Event Committee issues tri-annual calls in January, April, and October that are similar to open calls for conference proposals; from time to time, the Committee may call for proposals around a specific theme. We request a general overview of the content of sessions and presenters as well as information about the budget, promotion, and general organization of the event. This allows us to compensate presenters and organizers with honoraria for their intellectual and organizational labor and to cover other necessary costs.

In all BSA events, the material text – that is, handwritten, printed, or other textual artifacts, broadly conceived – as historical evidence, and/or the theory and practice of descriptive, historical, and/or critical bibliography, should be a central concern to participants and organizers.

Our events strive to center diverse perspectives covering wide-ranging topics as outlined in our Equity Action Plan.
Through our distributed conference model, BSA reduces its carbon footprint and meets you where you are by lowering barriers to participation. We have hosted bibliographical events both online and in-person at various locations throughout North America and, when possible, elsewhere in the world. Such events can include but are not limited to:

  • lectures,
  • panel presentations,
  • hands-on workshops,
  • conference sessions,
  • and receptions following events that are bibliographical in nature.

We strive to make our events free for attendees and open to all.

For more information about the types of events that BSA hosts and sponsors, please see the Past and Upcoming Events pages on our website. The Events Committee is especially eager to sponsor events that help the Society to achieve the objectives set out in its Equity Action Plan, which states:

The Society will continue to expand BSA events in terms of representation, coverage, and access. In-person and virtual events should cover a wide range of subjects, feature presenters from under-represented groups, and take place in geographically dispersed, physically accessible locations or with virtual equivalents (closed-captioning, etc.). Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a commitment to these values.

Review guidelines, deadlines, and submit a proposal here.

External Calls for Papers and Proposals

Through the BSA Liaison Sub-Committee, the Society has established relationships with various other learned societies and sponsors programs at their conferences. These conference calls for papers and others for sessions coincidentally organized by BSA members are posted here.

Email to post a call on our website!

112th CAA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, February 14–17, 2024: Bibliographical Society of America sponsored session, “The Transcultural Circulation of Illustrated Books (1500-1950)”

This panel will address illustrated books that originated in Eurasia during the Early Modern and Modern periods. It will focus on those that have been translated, visually as well as textually, for a reading public in a different language community than that for which it was originally produced, whether elsewhere in Eurasia or overseas.

We are especially interested in the illustrated book because of the essential role that images play in cross-cultural contact. This panel aims to pose a range of questions, such as how paratext and its interpretation changed when illustrated books were retrofitted for their new audiences. How were illustrations also transformed and adapted as texts were translated and reprinted? To answer these questions, this panel broadly explores the movement of books as well as the ways knowledge and technology travel during production, circulation, and consumption in a cross-cultural context.

This panel takes illustrated books as its central subject, with the goal of rethinking the translation of language, images, and, most importantly, the translation of culture. Proposals from a range of book formats, literary genres, and geographic regions are welcome.

Please submit your proposal (250-word maximum) and CV by 30 August to the co-chairs:

  1. Fletcher Coleman, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Art History
    University of Texas, Arlington
  2. Gillian Zhang, PhD
    Curatorial Research Associate
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston