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CfP: Print and Power (The St Andrews Book Conference)

In the early modern period print could make or break power. While scholars have focussed mainly on efforts by authorities to restrict the circulation of printed texts, civic and ecclesiastical authorities recognised the potential as well as the dangers of this new technology. Cardinal Raymond Peraudi fully embraced the advantages offered by the new medium of print. On his fundraising campaign in the Holy Roman Empire he commissioned thousands of indulgence certificates and papal bulls. Repression of print could be fierce but governments throughout Europe increasingly recognized the power of print, and started using printed broadsheets to communicate decisions with their citizens. This conference will explore the multifaceted and changing relationships between power and print in the early modern world.

The organisers welcome contributions on any facet of this theme. Examples are:
• Sponsored printing
• The different uses of print by civic and ecclesiastical powers, or specific officials in early modern societies, such as generals, diplomats, or guild members
• The distribution of commissioned works
• The position of state printers and their relationship with authorities
• Patronage and print privileges
• State influence through print regulations such as monopolies and bans.

Co-organised by Nina Lamal, Helmer Helmers and Jamie Cumby the conference will take place between 21 and 23 June 2018.

The call for papers is now open and is available online on the USTC website at:

Those interested in giving a paper are asked to offer a proposal (max. 300 words). Proposals should be sent to Jamie Cumby ( by 1 December 2017.

The papers given at this conference will form the basis of an edited volume in Brill’s Library of the Written Word.