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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!

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), 53rd Annual Meeting, March 9-11, 2023, St. Louis, MO.

Roundtable: Technologies of Bibliography and Book History, Benjamin Pauley, Eastern Connecticut State University,

This roundtable panel seeks discussion of the technologies (broadly conceived) that enable and condition research in the study of books as material objects and as cultural artifacts that circulated in the eighteenth-century world. What tools are available for the study of books in this way, and how do those tools affect the kinds of bibliographical and book historical insights we are able to derive? Topics might include the variety of aids for the comparative study of books (such as optical collators); approaches to organizing information about books (from library catalogues, to printed bibliographies, to national bibliographic databases); or future requirements for the study of books. Discussants could showcase accomplishments of the technologies at our disposal, but could also interrogate limitations or shortcomings of those technologies. What do our current technologies (including period-specific national bibliographies like the ESTC, STC-N, VD18, etc.) help us to understand, and what might they prevent us from seeing? What technologies—and what techne, more broadly—are requisite for new insights in bibliography and book history?

In keeping with the priorities of the BSA’s 2020 Equity Action Plan (EAP), we encourage presentations exploring these questions from members of under-represented groups and from scholars with a strong professional practice of engaging with materials created within under- represented communities. BSA strives to assemble panels that demonstrate and uphold the Society’s values of equity and inclusion in bibliography.