The Princeton Workshop on Book History and Religious Studies invites proposals from graduate students for participation in a three-day series of discussions, scheduled to be held at Princeton University September 30 – October 2, 2015.
The goal of this workshop is to bring the methodologies of book history to bear on a broad range of religious-studies questions in a series of focused discussions. The event will begin September 30 with a keynote address. The two subsequent days will be broken into five thematic discussions of pre-circulated materials, including works in progress by our participants and other relevant readings. It is hoped that this format will cultivate a sense of shared purpose among participants and a sustained discussion, allowing for key themes to be sifted out and for enduring scholarly relationships to develop. Vincent Wimbush, director of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures, will help to frame our discussions with a keynote address to open the workshop on Wednesday, September 30. We will conclude on the evening of 2 October with a keynote by Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton, capping our discussions and suggesting areas of inquiry for the future.
Engaging with book history from the standpoint of religious studies brings to the fore a number of essential questions. How does a book-object function as a “scripture”? How have various religious traditions thought about the material origins of the texts they use? What is the relationship among concepts such as revelation, writing, transcription, translation, publication, and interpretation? How does genre function in religious texts, and how is it defined materially? This workshop aims to bring together scholars whose work illuminates these questions regardless of their specific time period or area of focus. The workshop will present a rare chance for graduate students to interact closely with a range of distinguished faculty. Scheduled participants include: Spencer Dew (Centenary College of Louisiana), Matthew Engelke (London School of Economics), Charlotte Eubanks (Penn State), Kim Haines-Eitzen (Cornell University), Eva Mroczek (Indiana University), Lauren Osborne (Whitman College), Kurtis Schaeffer (University of Virginia), Jeremy Schott (Indiana University), Rudolph T. Ware III (University of Michigan), and Travis Zadeh (Haverford College).
The workshop is being generously sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion and the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project. Domestic travel and lodging costs will be covered for graduate students selected to participate. Applicants should submit a cover letter explaining their reasons for wanting to participate, a 500-word abstract of work that they would be interested in presenting for discussion, and the names of two references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review of applications will begin March 16, 2015.