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The 9th Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship 2012

Call for papers for the 9th Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship 2012: Editing Fundamentals: Historical and Literary Paradigms in Source Editing Deadline for paper proposal submissions: May 15, 2012
When Nov 22, 2012 12:00 AM to
Nov 24, 2012 12:00 AM
Where Amsterdam
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Keynote speakers 

Manfred Thaller (University of Cologne)

Godfried Croenen (University of Liverpool)

Andrew Jewell (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)


The 9th conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship will be an international academic forum for communication between different approaches to historical and literary source editing. Edited source texts, documents and databases are essential to literary, political, historical scholarship, as well as to social studies, art history, music, philosophy or theology. The conference aims at bringing together academics working in disciplines that have so far worked within independently operating scholarly traditions, promoting innovative, multidisciplinary exchange and dialogue. The conference will examine the transformation of traditional editorial practice into a digital environment and the creation of innovative opportunities like the use of digital tools and media.

Scholars of any discipline related to editing texts and data nowadays have at their disposal almost limitless possibilities to present texts and data to the public. Traditionally reflection and practice show seemingly different approaches to textual scholarship and documentary editing of historical sources. The aim of this conference is to debate these topics and to strive for a common approach towards the challenges of publishing. Key concepts are heuristic, selection, representativeness and presentation to the user.

The conference is organized by the European Society for Textual Scholarship (ESTS) and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Huygens ING), a Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences institute.

ESTS conferences are characterized by traditional paper presentations in panel sessions with three speakers each, followed by lively exchange, dialogue and interaction between speakers and audience in many small groups as well as formal plenary sessions. There is also an opportunity for poster presentations of current projects.


We encourage submissions related to any of the following topics

1)         Handling vast documentary entities

Present day academics in all fields have to deal with a surfeit of interrelating archives, texts and data. New media have created almost limitless possibilities to make texts and data available to the user. These developments grant new urgency to a reassessment of basic issues like searching and selecting appropriate documents and data, establishing verifiable criteria for document selection, representativeness of materials actually published and preservation of high-quality standards.


2)         Bridging the gap: common grounds for editors of documentary, historical and literary sources

Digital representation of texts and data has fundamentally changed the field of textual and documentary editing. These changes involve various aspects of the process of selecting, editing and publishing from the construction of virtual work environments, the managing of multiple and geographically widespread contributors (as in crowd sourcing projects), to the making of ‘mash up’-editions that combine data from various sources and the integration of analytical tools in digital editions. In view of these developments questions arise as to the number of disciplines a multi-purpose edition can cater for.


3)         Fundamentals of source rendition

Rendition of a source document involves many decisions at multiple levels, depending on the intended use of the edition as well as on the size, the state and the nature of the source. Questions that can be addressed are for instance: To what extent should an edition faithfully represent a source text? What attitudes do editors take towards partial editions and abridgments? Should multi-layered documents be edited in multi-layered editions? How do we build and manage large text corpora? How do we choose between textual accuracy and abstraction when editing serial sources? Are New Philology and Critique Génétique valuable concepts for documentary editing?


4)         Biography and editing

The field of biography poses many problems that interrelate with source editing, especially in the case of expressive writing. A fictional writer’s literary persona may be problematic for a biographer dealing with editions of both literary works and personal or political correspondence. Historical autobiographies or biographies may need new commentaries. Artists may have commented on their own and other work in correspondence or critical writing, which raises questions of interdisciplinary approach. All these issues can significantly affect the representativeness and usability of editions for biographers.


5)         Cross over editions: cultural dimensions and scholarly disciplines (editing from more than one perspective)

 Textual sources always have various cultural and political dimensions: a poem can be defined by its application to an image; a song text can be defined by its musical setting; a political speech or even a scientific treatise can be rhetorically constructed in a comparable way as a literary text. Such texts require an editorial approach that would combine different fields of scholarship and may result in mixed media editions. In a similar way documents that show characteristics of production centers that cover a variety of text genres will draw the attention of different kinds of scholarship (e.g., identification of medieval scribal workshops needs to take documents of both literary and administrative nature into account).


The conference is organized into a number of thematic sessions. Apart from the themes mentioned above there will be room for other topics provided they apply to the main conference theme.


Paper, panel session and poster presentation proposals 

Submissions are welcomed on virtually all related topics and themes, independently of time period and space. This includes interdisciplinary perspectives from all branches of scholarly editing regardless of the language of the source texts involved, as long as a main focus is on reflection on guiding principles and practices of editorial policy. Graduate students are encouraged to participate.

Please submit your proposal before May 15, 2012, by email to . You will be notified by June 15, 2012 whether your proposal has been accepted or rejected (the deadline for proposals has been extended with two weeks compared to the first issue of this CfP).


Proposals for papers

Abstracts in English of 500 words max. are to be submitted along with the presenter’s name, a short biography, address, telephone, email, and institutional affiliation to the organizing committee.

            Final papers should be of 20 minutes duration, leaving room for a 10 minute discussion.


Proposals for panel sessions

Typically, a panel of academic papers should include 3 (maximum 4) speakers and 1 moderator (session chair). Each session will last for 1.5 hours allowing for 30 minutes for questions and discussion. Proposers should submit: 

(1) Session title and a session intro (ca 100 words)

(2) Paper titles

(3) Abstracts for each paper (500 words max.)

(4) Short biography for each participant and the panel chair (ca 100 words)

(5) Institutional affiliation and address for each participant

(6) Audio-visual and other technical requirements.


Proposals for poster presentations

 A poster presentation will be displayed in the poster gallery at the congress. A poster presentation should be a visual representation and/or a demo of the material you are reviewing. Its aims are to present information and initiate informal discussion amongst delegates.

            Poster size should not exceed 80 cm x 120 cm. A photograph of yourself together with a mobile phone number will allow people to contact you while you are at the congress.

            Please provide a one-page submission with an overview of the poster and your contact details.


Participation and registration

 Participants who contribute to the conference through a paper, a panel or a poster session need to pay the conference fee and be a member in good standing of the European Society for Textual Scholarship for 2012 except for specially invited speakers. For information about the ESTS see Your current membership status is indicated on

More information about registration and possibilities of accommodation will be published soon on a conference website.