Call for Posters
Postgraduate students and early career researchers are invited to propose posters for a one-day, student-run conference exploring how we engage with letters in the digital age.
The conference takes an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach, considering letters from antiquity to the present day. It seeks to promote collaborative dialogue between academics, archivists, publishers, and the public, and to facilitate illuminating discussion from inside and outside the academic sphere – including opinion from individuals who write, read, reveal and research correspondence in their professional or personal lives. Through a focus on the conflicted and changing role of the letter as a private and public mode of written communication, the conference accommodates various perspectives: historical, anthropological, literary, archival, political, and many others. In this way, our consideration of correspondence will encompass the various digital and analogue methods for recording, interpreting, and presenting a specific material document and its inherent social connections, as well as an assessment of the ways in which recent developments in digital modes of communication have influenced, disrupted, or enhanced our relationship with this traditional form.
Confirmed speakers include: Professor Howard Hotson (Cultures of Knowledge); Miranda Lewis (Early Modern Letters Online); Dr Robert McNamee (Electronic Enlightenment), Dr Alison Pearn (Darwin Correspondence Project), Rupert Mann (Digital Programme Director, Oxford University Press), Kieron Smith (Digital Director, Blackwell’s).
Selected posters will be printed for display and informal discussion during an evening drinks reception at Wolfson College, and their scope could include (but is not limited to) the following correspondence-based topics:
- Analysis of a letter or selection of letters (if present in the Bodleian collections, these materials could also be included in an exhibition accompanying the conference).
- Methodologies for working with correspondence material in any field.
- Consideration of letters as a source for life-writing or historical research.
- Implications (theoretical or practical) of editing correspondence in digital or print media.
- Presentation or discussion of digital manipulation of correspondence data and metadata (corpus and network analysis, visualizations, translation, etc.).
- Reflections on the significance of correspondence within personal, public, or fictional lives.
- Comparisons between letters and other (digital) forms of communication.
Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to posters [at] epistolary [dot] net outlining the research your poster will present, by Friday 13th May. Preference will be given to research that demonstrably crosses disciplinary boundaries and uses diverse techniques. Posters can be landscape or portrait and should be A1 size. Printing costs (if required) will be covered, as well as the presenter’s conference attendance and limited travel expenses.