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Call for Proposals 2017

The American Printing History Association (APHA) and the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC) at the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) welcome proposals for their joint conference2017confheader

APHA and CHAViC invite proposals that explore the production, distribution, reception, and survival of printed words and images in America to 1900. In an era in which the process of design had not been separated from production, the purpose of the conference is to explore the inter-relation between composition, design, and printing processes. PDF 

The goal of clear communication was often coupled with a deadline and a budget. In the face of these constraints, printers used the materials and equipment at their disposal to design and produce necessary items in the service of democracy, education, science, commerce, entertainment, and the arts. The inventiveness and problem solving resulted in work ranging from the pedestrian to the sublime and that might, when considered carefully, offer lessons for today’s communications environment. How can the past inform the present and the future? How can the study of continuity and change through printing history inform contemporary design? Proposals are encouraged from disparate disciplines including art history, American studies, book arts, graphic design, practicing artists and printers, history, English, childhood studies, and material culture studies.

Talks could explore the conference theme from various cultural, aesthetic, or technological perspectives, including:

printing and political dialoguethe relationship of text and image
the rise of fine printingthe layout of letterforms and pictures
job printing as business and artthe emergence of new printing techniques
the printing of ephemera such as
valentines or trade cards
the use of color in printing
specialized printing, such as the
printing of music
innovative formats and combinations of
printing techniques
supply and trade networkssafety and risk in commercial printing practices
alternative economies in the book tradesthe relationship of capitalism and printing
emerging distinctions between fine
and graphic art
the history of labor and immigration
the establishment of layout standards
in the printing industry
the impact of printing on communities
the design of information (maps,
schedules, etc.)
printing for children and for educational
purposes
the evolution of typography

submission guidelines

We solicit proposals for 20-minute individual presentations. Please include the following contact information at the beginning of the proposal: name, mailing address, phone number, email, a short biographical statement (100 words maximum), and a CV (two pages maximum). Proposals must include the paper topic, a title, and an abstract (300 words maximum). Send proposals as Word or PDF attachments to Nan Wolverton, Director of CHAViC, nwolverton@mwa.org. Proposals are due March 15, 2017.

Applicants will receive a timely acknowledgment that their proposal has been received, and will be contacted by April 30, 2017, if their proposal is accepted. Presenters will have their conference registration fee waived, but are required to be current members of APHA. Memberships are available from $20 for students and $50 for individuals; information at printinghistory.org/membership. Presenters are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodations. 

about the conference location

The American Antiquarian Society was founded in 1812 and is a both a learned society and a major independent research library. Located in the midst of a region dotted with sites related to printing and book history, the library houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, music, and graphic arts material printed through 1876 in what is now the United States. Pre- and post-conference events will include opportunities to visit some of the noted printing history sites in the area.

about the organizations

APHA is a membership organization founded in 1974 that encourages the study of the history of printing and related arts and crafts, including calligraphy, typefounding, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration, and publishing. The organization does this through a wide variety of programs and services: the annual conference and Lieberman Lecture series; the  fellowship program; the scholarly journal Printing History; and annual individual and institutional awards that honor distinguished achievement in the field of printing history. 

CHAViC was established at the AAS in 2005 and is dedicated to providing opportunities for educators to learn about American visual culture and resources, promoting the awareness of AAS collections, and stimulating research and intellectual inquiry into American visual materials. CHAViC accomplishes these goals by offering fellowships, exhibitions, workshops and seminars, conferences, resources, and improved access to AAS collections.

For up-to-date information, please visit the APHA and CHAViC websites.

Sara T. Sauers sara-sauers@uiowa.edu, APHA VP for Programs
Nan Wolverton nwolverton@mwa.org, AAS Director, CHAViC.