Glossing, the practice of annotating manuscripts between the lines and/or in the margins, was a widespread cultural practice wherever books were being read, studied and taught. As an indication of this, the Network for the Study of Glossing (www.glossing.org) currently has 75 members with research interests in glossed manuscripts written in Arabic, Breton, Chinese, German, Greek, Egyptian, English, French, Hebrew, Hittite, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Sanskrit, Turkish, and Welsh.
This two-day conference aims to bring together specialists from a variety of fields to discuss aspects of glossing—in all its forms—from a comparative perspective. A particular focus will be on how glosses engage with and reflect the dynamics of contemporary cultural change, rather than acting merely as passive repositories of inherited tradition. Specific aspects of glossing could include any of the following:
Glossing as a revealer of reading practices: e.g. considering the relationship between Classical/cosmopolitan written languages and spoken vernaculars; or different approaches to reading/performing sacred and secular texts.
Glossing as a method of interpretation: both linguistic (translation) and cultural (e.g. mediating remote cultures and ideas).
Glossing as an instrument of textual authority: mandating how texts should be read and understood; creating and re-shaping canons.
Glossing as a vehicle for education: organisation of knowledge; delivery of a particular curriculum.
Glossing as an intellectual effort: scholarship for its own sake; the creation of new knowledge.
Papers should last 20 minutes, allowing 10 minutes for discussion. (Direct comparison between traditions is not expected. This will be facilitated during the event.)
This event follows on from another held at the University of Frankfurt on 2–3 December 2016. We aim to publish a selection of papers from both conferences together in a single volume.
Please send a title and abstract (300 words max) to Pádraic Moran (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 23February 2018.
Some limited financial assistance will be available.