Friday, March 16, 2007

Call for Papers
The Culture of the Publisher's Series 1700-2000
An International Conference to be held on 18 -19 October 2007 at the Institute of English Studies, University of London

In the early 18th century, British publishers began gathering books together in themed series and packaging and marketing them as distinct, recognisable groups. The effects of this phenomenon were remarkable; it has been estimated that by the mid-nineteenth century there were upward of 3,000 publishers' series in Britain alone, and the phenomenon is of course still with us today. During this 300-year period the culture of the publisher's series has opened up new possibilities for authors, publishers, distributors and readers worldwide, helped to establish a wide range of traditions from the establishment of national literary canons to the development of feminist lists, and influenced the kinds of literature we teach to the next generation of scholars

While some publishers' series have been investigated in depth, there have been few opportunities for the work of individual scholars to be placed in meaningful dialogue. This major two-day conference seeks to encourage international scholars from all disciplines to examine the culture of the publisher's series globally with a view to furthering understanding of its historical, ideological, generic and geographical reach.

We welcome offers of individual papers or paper panels from both new and established scholars. Topics may include (but are not confined to): the development of individual or linked publishers' series anywhere in the world; the relationship between series and imprint; design/aesthetics; changes in national and international copyright law; emergent readerships and genres worldwide; changes in production and transport methods; notions of literary taste; canon formation; education reform; social and political change; prefaces, introductions and editorial policies.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words and short speaker biographies to be sent electronically by March 31st, 2007 to both organisers at the following addresses

Dr Mary Hammond ( and Professor John Spiers (