This conference will be held virtually on April 24-25, 2020.
An in-person meeting will take place November 12-14, 2020.
The symposium, co-hosted by Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, focuses on the use of material texts and objects in cross-cultural encounters in the Americas.
This conference will explore how texts — broadly defined to include not only books but visual art, musical scores, and various kinds of handwork — have facilitated communication across cultural divides, the creation and transmission of knowledge, the performance of both colonization and resistance, and the creation of alphabetic and alternative literacies from the eras of contact, conquest, and colonization through the twentieth century in both North and South America.
American Contact proceeds from the fact that “text” was put under particular pressure in the Americas, where we find rich histories of negotiation between cultures defined by widely divergent textual, linguistic, and notational traditions. Far from marginal to studies of “the book,” which historically have predominately focused on Europe, texts from the Americas emerge, in this volume, as central to their material, geographic, and conceptual reorientation.
For more information, including schedule, registration, and speaker lineup, visit the conference website.
This conference, A Humanities Council Global Initiative, is made possible through the generous financial support of the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Fund in the Humanities Council, and with the help of additional cosponsors, including the Penn Libraries.