SHARP Conference:The Battle for Books 26-29 June 2012 Trinity College Dublin


The Theme

In a city like Dublin, which has been home to Swift, Wilde and Joyce one naturally thinks of ‘The Battle for Books’ in terms of censorship, constraint and restraint. While these will be significant topics at the conference, scholars have been invited to examine the theme as broadly as possible.

On the production side of the industry we will consider the financial, emotional and organisational struggles of authors, printers and publishers to bring books to market. Papers will also analyse the distribution, sale and reception of books across a range of time periods and geographical locations.

There is plenty of scope to develop ‘The Battle for Books’ in a historical context, but speakers will also examine the future for books, the book-trade and the printing industry in the context of current and future technological innovations. Registration is now open at

Topics of particular importance at the conference might include (but are not limited to):

  • Lost and endangered skills related to the printing industry and book-trade
  • Battles between/among authors, printers and publishers
  • Censorship, constraint and restraint
  • Contestation and cultural struggle
  • Constructions and deconstructions of national and local identities
  • The digital book and digital futures
  • Library futures