It has never been questioned that the European Enlightenment was made by books. The intellectual movement which swept across Europe and the Atlantic world from the end of the seventeenth century was fostered, expressed and realised by a sophisticated international market for books. Complex ventures such as Bayle’s Dictionnaire and the ever-expanding number of periodicals indicate that authors and intellectuals were keenly aware of print as a powerful tool. Yet did the book trade reciprocate this enthusiasm? How far did the book market embrace the Enlightenment, and how important were the great intellectual currents of the day to the everyday business of books?
The relationship between the nascent Enlightenment and the organisation of the book trade stands central to this conference. It will seek to expose general developments in European and Atlantic book trade practices from c. 1650-1750, coinciding roughly with the “Early Enlightenment”, in order to refine our understanding of the interplay between intellectual currents and the market for print.
The organisers welcome contributions on any facet of this subject. Possible themes include:
Co-organised by Arthur der Weduwen and Ann-Marie Hansen, the conference will take place between 20 and 22 June 2019. Proposals (max. 300 words) should be sent to Arthur der Weduwen (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 November 2018.
A conference flyer can be downloaded here