Dall-E image depicting conference theme
Each year, the Centre for the Book at the University of Otago organises a symposium with a theme designed to engage with ideas about the roles that books and print have played in shaping identity, indicating what’s important, explain how to do (and not to do) things.
The theme for the 2023 Centre of the Book Research Symposium is ‘Books and Resistance’. We often discuss books as repositories or shapers of culture, most often considering the ways such print is revered, studied or transmitted, without so often pausing to think about all the ways that print, frequently in more ephemeral forms, also objects, resists or reframes our perspectives. This year’s symposium offers an opportunity to reflect on how texts create, embody, celebrate, or challenge aspects of cultures that may otherwise be marginalised or silent, deviant or devout, brilliantly (but dauntingly) original or factually false that all find greater voice through print. Resistance takes many forms, from graffiti to public manifestos and from handbills to social media posts. The presentations in this symposium will discuss a variety of genres from different periods, some attending to distribution, some to subversive modes of production, some to resistant readers. Why does print both enable resistance and provoke resistance? Are some forms of print better suited to resistance? Can choosing not to engage with print be a form of resistance? These and no doubt other questions will be the focus of the 2023 Centre for the Book Symposium.
We hope you have something you wish to contribute to this topic, and that you will plan to join us for the public lecture on Thursday evening and the day of presentations on Friday, 16–17 November 2023
In line with this brief context, abstracts are welcome that examine any aspect of how books, newspapers, and the written word in all its forms enact, depict, obstruct or otherwise engage with resistance.
Topics might include, but are not limited to:
- The inertia of physical books as a form of resistance
- The ability of books to include or exclude voices of groups, individuals or nations
- Radical publishing, whether on the left, right, or in areas otherwise marginal to the prevailing norms
- Print permissions and censorship
- Small publishers: acts of resistance, obstacles they face, survival as a form of resistance
- Print and environmental issues
- Print and Indigeneity
- Print design to effect change
- Print design that elicits unexpected resistance
- Print and AI
- Print and protest
Please submit abstracts of 250–300 words to the Centre for the Book (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 September. Feel free to contact either of the organisers, Shef Rogers (email@example.com) or Donald Kerr (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you have any questions. We aim to send out notifications about acceptances and a draft programme by mid-September. Online participation and attendance may be possible; precise format to be confirmed in July. Whether online or in person, registration will be free.