2015 Edition


29-30 May 2015, Iasi, Romania

Thematic Focus: From Manuscript to E-book




Moldova State University, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature

Faculty of Letters, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi

Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi

“Alumni” Association – “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi

„Mihai Eminescu” Central University Library of Iași

British Council


The concern with the preservation of texts, in their various forms, has grown into a constant feature of our culture. The relationship with texts is thus a current practice, which manifests distinctly within each domain of research. From narrow definitions of the concept, the word “text” evolved toward a larger meaning such as the one theorized by D. F. McKenzie who, as early as 1999, used to say the following: “I define ‘texts’ to include verbal, visual, oral, and numeric data, in the form of maps, prints, and music, of archives of recorded sound, of films, videos, and any computer-stored information, everything in fact from epigraphy to the latest forms of discography. There is no evading the challenge which those new forms have created”. With a view to such all-inclusive definitions of texts, we intend to benchmark them and test their adequacy right in the middle of the latest debates between mono-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches. Therefore, we invite the participants to come with topics from various domains of interest, cultural contexts or historical periods. Already inserted in our common lives, the digital culture challenges us to take an epistemological turn and reshape the very notion of “textuality”; new types of text correspond to new types of reading and writing practices. Roger Chartier’s opinion is expressed in similar terms: “The changes of our time upset simultaneously the foundation of writing, techniques of its reproduction, dissemination and how it is read. Such simultaneity is unprecedented in the history of humanity”.

Through its importance and addressability, the thematic proposal can be undertaken by diverse academic communities, from humanist scholars to librarians and editors. Hence, we propose a rough guideline of topics encompassed by the conference’s thematic focus. The papers can either work on these suggestions or introduce new ones:

1. The world of manuscripts
– text transmission; manuscript readings; text restoration and annotation; text paternity; genetic criticism
– norms and principles of manuscript editing; norms and principles of critical/ philological editions
– digital editing; manuscript digitalization
– dealing with old manuscripts: interpolations and fake manuscripts
– dealing with sacred manuscripts: literal vs liberal interpretation

2. Textual corpuses
-formation of corpuses and corpus analysis
-spoken language corpuses; multimedia resources: interactive dictionaries, lexicons and atlases
corpus juris; legal texts; constitutional documents; canonical texts

3. Text, author, signature
– real author/ abstract author; to enter/ to live within one’s own text; text and corporeality
– textual practices in Greek and Latin Classicism: poeta vs. auctor
– the personality of texts: style, signature, idiolect

4. Reading and textual practices
– the historicity of reading practices; reading communities; interpreting communities
– arch-text; reading the world; the scientific discourse and the metaphor
– the reader’s encyclopaedic memory and competences; aspects in the theory of reception
– on-line writing and reading practices

5. The communicative function of texts
– communication theories and functional models; text semantics and text pragmatics
– the cliché; the recurrent discourse; the geography of words
– texts in advertisement, marketing, and branding

6. Text origins and originality
– primary text vs secondary texts; commentary; essay; literary criticism
– final text/ variants; complete works/work-in-progress; the work’s totality/ the work’s meaning
– self-written text; inspired/sacred text; the collective texts

7. Text, subtext, context
– textualizing the unuttered; the discourse of trauma; the ineffable
-the mnemonic potential of texts; the memory of literature; the memory enclosed in clichés
– the dialogic text; intertextuality; hypo-text/ hypertext; palimpsest; text/ icon
– the cultural value of texts: canonical texts; cultural texts; market literature

8. The performativity of texts
– textuality and representation: script vs. film; play vs. theatrical staging; film adaptation and mediality; libretto vs. opera
– performing the sacred text; magic formulae
– rewriting techniques: bricolage; parody; pastiche; plagiarism

9. Digital textuality
– digital materiality
– corporeality in the digital age
– digital narratives
– hyper-text and hyper-literature

10. Working with texts
– translating ancient, medieval and modern texts
– source text vs. target text; literal translation vs. creative translation; the transmission of mental frames and cultural content
– texts as testimonies: inscriptions; maps; letters; documents; written sources; the materiality of documents

11. Storage and circulation of texts
– archives; storage systems; data bases
– library storage in the digital age: handling digital archives; open access archives and data-bases
– handling the texts: revisited texts; interpolated texts; censored texts; suppressed texts
– burning the manuscripts; destroying books; book censorship and control
– traces of absent works; treasuring of texts

12. Textualised history
– patrimonial documents; the testifying text; text, remnants and the material culture
– scripts of public and private histories; contra-factual histories; court chronicles; memoirs, anti-memoirs
– state and racial metanarratives; cultural diplomacy

13. The authority of texts
– scientific reliability of texts: forms of auctoritates; the arguments of authority
– textuality of sciences and disciplines
– authority models; citation/ quotation practices; influences; synchronization; creative captions; vulgarization

14. Education in the digital age
– alternative textual instruments
– digital handbooks
– the education of pupils within the digital medium

15. Book culture vs. digital culture
– the knowledge transfer and the validation of cultural production
– new models of textual collaboration and dissemination
– digital convergence
– digital ‘divide’ and the accessibility of digital sources

Papers may be presented in Romanian, English or French.