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Enssib Call for Papers: Books and Events, Books as Events, from Manuscript to Digital Formats


Disciplines : History and Information-Communication Sciences (but scholars working in all areas of the humanities and social sciences are also invited to respond)


20 June 2023: Deadline for abstracts (3,000-5,000 char. excl. bibl. ref.) 10 July 2023: Notification of acceptance ; invitation to submit full article

October 6, 2023 : Deadline for submission of full papers for review

February 15, 2024 : Deadline for final version of full article

First semester 2024 : Publication date


Submissions in both French and English are welcome.

Important note: no payment from the authors will be required.



The link between books and events is historically evident. One need only think of Gabriel Naudé’s 1620 Discours contre les libelles or his other works published in connection with the events of his time (Vesuvius eruptions, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre...).


However, with the emergence of the mass press and "newspaper civilization" in the 19th century, the link between books and events seemed less obvious and has therefore been of less interest to researchers than the study of relationships between events and the press. The intent of this issue is to reopen this question and to further our understanding of book/event dynamics in different historical periods.


While recent work in the humanities and social sciences has drawn attention to event-making processes in political and cultural life, this issue seeks to question more specifically the place of books (manuscript, printed or electronic books, audio books...) as well as the roles of different actors and of various book practices in such eventalization processes.


Prospective authors are invited to submit proposals on topics of interest in the three following areas:


We seek proposals which explore the “eventalization” of books. Submissions can focus on case studies of books which “burst” onto the market or onto the public scene ; on how publishers and other actors (booksellers, librarians, advertisers, readers…) create and shape event narratives and discourses about books ; and on the creation of event-based or event-promoting cultural policies regarding books...

We seek to encourage and renew the study of forms and logics of cultural mediation, advertising and information-documentation practices as they seek to characterize books as events. We also aim to question the role of new and emerging mediation dispositives (developed on social media for example) which contribute to the creation, analysis or debate surrounding books as events.


Book history emphasizes the importance of long-term economic, informational or technological transformations as key explanatory factors of mutations in book design, production, use. We seek submissions which study how events such as crises, revolutions, wars, disasters and political regime changes also play a key role - at least occasionally - in the transformation of the book (its modes of production, circulation, or appropriation as well as book-related mediation and information-documentation processes) and in the course of its history.


We further invite proposals on the role of the book as a carrier of memory, as "memorabilia." This memorializing role can be conceived in a direct way, with books produced as vectors of the memory of contemporary (political, scientific, cultural ….) events or can be developed a posteriori as a privileged means to preserve circumstances or experiences of past events. We welcome submissions which explore and critically revisit the traditional or emerging roles of different actors (readers, book and information professionals, editorializers, influencers…) involved in the processes of memorialization, patrimonialization and commemoration of events through books.



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