The Ray Smith Symposium on Iconic Books will take place October 18-20th at Syracuse University. Twelve scholars with specialties in diverse cultures and periods will gather to energize research on this important but neglected topic.
Anchoring the symposium will be two keynote addresses:
- “Images to be Read and Words to be Seen: the Iconic Role of the Early Medieval Book” by Prof. Michelle Brown (University of London, the British Library) on Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m., and
- “Making Do With the Fetish: Scriptures and Vernaculars” by Prof. Vincent Wimbush (Claremont Graduate University, the Institute for Signifying Scriptures) on Friday, October 19th at 5 p.m.
During the day on the 19th and 20th, the invited scholars will take turns leading hour-long discussions about iconic books from the perspective of their own research and specialties. The symposium will conclude with a small film festival featuring a few short movies in which iconic texts play a central role.
For the list of invited participants, topics of discussion sections, and registration, housing, and travel information, see the link at left to "Symposium 2007." We hope to see you there!
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.)