I'm very happy to announce the launch of a new scholarly society: The Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT).
Its goal is to foster academic discourse about the social functions of books and texts that exceed their semantic meaning and interpretation, such as their display as cultural artifacts, their ritual use in religious and political ceremonies, their performance by recitation and theater, and their depiction in art. SCRIPT then incorporates the interests of the Iconic Books project, but also invites broader consideration of both iconic and performative dimensions of texts.
The society will sponsor programming at existing regional and international scholarly meetings and at colleges and universities. The first of these will be a concurrent meeting with the Eastern International Region of the AAR at Syracuse University, May 6-7, 2011 (see the Call for Papers).
We welcome new members and ideas for programs and venues to host them.
Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)