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Call for Proposals 2018

The Friends of Dard Hunter (FDH) and the American Printing History Association (APHA) welcome proposals for their joint conference “Matrices: The Social Life of Paper, Print, and Art,” at the University of Iowa Center for the Book Iowa City, Iowa, October 25–27, 2018. Proposals are due March 31, 2018. FDH and APHA invite proposals for presentations, demonstrations, and workshops that explore the technological and cultural matrices of art printed on or made from handmade paper. PDF.

Today’s practitioners and scholars have a rich archive of historical production methods and societal uses of art on paper to draw from in their work and research. Be it decorative, instructional, devotional, or functional artwork, how can this matrix of origins and innovations be retrieved, shared, and developed? What have we brought forward to fit what we make and use now, and what might we embed for future makers and researchers?

We welcome presentations that consider developments worldwide from the earliest printed images on paper in Asia, to the technological advancements and expanding cultural engagement with art and illustration in the Renaissance, to current uses in one-of-a-kind artworks, print editions, and artist’s books.

Proposals are encouraged from practitioners and scholars across a range of disciplines including papermaking, printing, printmaking, art history, book arts, graphic design, book studies, history, religion, and material culture studies.

Presentations and demonstrations could explore the conference theme from various cultural, aesthetic, or technological perspectives, including but not limited to:

• interdisciplinary collaborations
• the evolving dialog between word and image
• the communicative power of multiples
• private press printers and papermakers
• handmade paper in artists books and book art
• technological innovations in their own time
• innovative combinations of media and materials
• cutting, pasting, layering, sculpting, documenting, collecting
• interactive formats, movable parts
• printing and applying color with ink, dyes, pigments
• working with archives
• international connections in paper and print
• currencies, stamps, and paper mediums of exchange
• watermarks, printers marks, and branding
• paperworks, pulp printing, art from bark papers
• paper and print as social practice
• making the handmade digital
• material conservation and sustainability

Submission Guidelines

Individual Presentations • Panel Presentations

Demonstrations • Workshops

We solicit proposals for:
• 20-minute individual presentations
• 60-minute panel presentations
• 75-minute demonstration sessions
• 3-hour workshops

For individual presentation and panel presentation proposals:

Please include the following information at the beginning of all proposals: name, mailing address, phone number, email, and a short biographical statement (100 words maximum). Proposals for 20-minute short individual papers should include the paper topic, a title, and an abstract (500 words maximum). Proposals for panels of three or four speakers (60 minutes total) are expected to come from the moderator. The panel title and a description of the topic (500 words maximum) should be accompanied by contact details and short biographical statements (100 words maximum for each participant).

For demonstration and workshop proposals:

Demonstrations and workshops will be held in UICB facilities. The available equipment includes Vandercook proof presses, a polymer plate maker and washout unit, board shears, a guillotine, a Reina beater, a Valley beater, and a 50-ton Reina hydraulic press.

Demonstrations should be designed to host 12–15 participants (papermaking equipment) or 10–12 participants (letterpress printing equipment). Workshops should be designed for 8–10 participants (papermaking equipment) or 6–8 participants (letterpress equipment).

Please include the following information at the beginning of all proposals: name, mailing address, phone number, email, and whether you are proposing a demonstration or workshop. In a short statement (250 words maximum) detail your activities and qualifications, an explanation of the demonstration or workshop, and the equipment requirements. Include 4–5 images related to the work and technique you plan to share.

Submit proposals by March 31, 2018, as Word or PDF files to Applicants will receive a timely acknowledgment that their proposal has been received, and will be contacted by April 30, 2018, if their proposal is accepted. Presenters are required to be current members of FDH or APHA at the time they agree to present. Presenters are expected to pay for their registration, travel, and accommodations. Competitive scholarships for covering conference registration will be available for graduate students.

About the Friends of Dard Hunter 

FDH connects, encourages, and educates anyone interested in paper and papermaking. Founded to preserve the collection of books, papers, equipment, and artifacts that Dard Hunter collected in his decades of research on hand papermaking, FDH now provides a forum to exchange information. Through publications, annual meetings, and other means, FDH educates its members and the public about the art, craft, history, science, and technology of paper. These forums and educational activities promote and encourage the continued creative practice of hand papermaking, allied paper arts, the book arts, and other arts practiced by Dard Hunter.

About Iowa City, the University of Iowa,
and the UI Center for the Book

“Iowa City. All our creativity went into the name”—RAYGUN

Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, is a college town of 75,000 people, nearly half of them students. Located in the heart of Iowa City, the University of Iowa (founded 1847) was the first U.S. public university to admit women and men on an equal basis, the first to admit students regardless of race, and the first to confer the MFA degree (in 1940). The Iowa Writers’ Workshop (founded 1936) is one of the world’s most distinguished creative writing programs, and is joined at the UI by the International Writing Program and the Nonfiction Writing Program. And by a hospital and football team, etc.

“You actually make paper by hand?!”—UICB visitor

Founded in 1986 by printer/publisher Kim Merker, the UICB has grown into a distinctive degree-granting program that integrates training in book arts practice with research into the history and culture of books. With top-notch facilities, expert faculty, and courses in printing, lettering arts, bookbinding, artist bookwork, conservation, and papermaking, complemented by book studies classes dedicated to scholarly inquiry and material analysis, the UICB serves graduate and undergraduate students from a number of disciplines.


Questions? Conference email:

Anne Covell, FDH VP, Annual Meetings
Jesse Erickson, APHA VP for Programs
Timothy Barrett, FDH conference chair
Sara T. Sauers, APHA conference chair

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