Conférence – « Conference Merchants, Artisans & Literati – Los Angeles, March 1-2, 2019 »

In the early stage of printing, Erasmus from Rotterdam provided a vivid account of his experience with the renowned humanist and publisher Aldus Manutius. In his 1508 Adagia, Erasmus described himself torn between Aldus’s rich library and his frantic printing shop where, allegedly, Erasmus was pressured by the publisher and his craftsmen to release the last-minute draft s of his texts moments before having them sent to press. Whether fictitious or real, this stresses an often-overlooked aspect of the early modern print world. Books took shape in a varied environment where intellectuals, merchants and artisans worked side by side in the common effort to produce competitive commodities for a growing market of readers.

Merchants, Artisans & Literati: The Book Market in Renaissance Europe
A Conference Organized by Angela Nuovo (University of Milan – EmoBookTrade Project)
Friday-Saturday, March 1-2, 2019
https://cmrs.ucla.edu/event/book-market-in-renaissance-europe/
In this conference, organized by Angela Nuovo of the University of Milan and the EMoBookTrade Project, experts of historical bibliography, intellectual history and economic history will investigate the Renaissance book trade as the ideal marketplace where authors, publishers, merchants and readers met.

Only recently has scholarship followed up on Erasmus’s lead to fully recognize the early modern book world as an organic system in which authors, publishers, sellers and readers shared responsibilities in shaping content, form and context of books. From this perspective, material features of books mingle with economic aspects, and they all merge into consideration of social, cultural and political relevance.

Advance registration is requested. Click here to register for the conference. No fee. Limited seating.
Campus parking information is posted at main.transportation.ucla.edu/campus-parking/visitors.

Funding for this conference is provided by the Ahmanson Foundation, the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the EMoBookTrade Project.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2019
UCLA Humanities Conference Room, Royce Hall 314

8:30 AM
Coffee, pastries, fruit

9:00
Welcoming Remarks
Massimo Ciavolella, Director, UCLA –CMRS
Valeria Rumori, Director, Italian Cultural Institute Los Angeles
Angela Nuovo, Conference Organizer (University of Milan)

9:15
Ann Blair (Harvard University)
The Role of Paratexts in Selling Books

SESSION I — Moderator: Massimo Ciavolella (UCLA)
10:30
Angela Nuovo (University of Milan, EMoBookTrade Project)
It’s madness to waste time in this book business!’: Mapping the Gabianos’ Network (1522)

Kevin Stevens (University of Nevada, Reno)
“Purchasing Books from Cologne (and the Frankfurt Fairs): A Contract between the Antoni Book Firm from Milan and the Birckmann Publishers in Cologne (1573)

12:00 PM
Lunch Break

SESSION II — Moderator: Matthew Fisher (UCLA)
2:00
Flavia Bruni (Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information, Rome)
An Early Modern Business Plan: Facing up the Challenge of Printing in the Sixteenth Century Through Mobility, Ephemera and Official Mandates

Caroline Duroselle-Melish (Folger Shakespeare Library)
“On the Margins of the Book Trade: How to Sell a Book of Secrets in Renaissance Bologna”

Andrea Ottone (University of Udine, EMoBookTrade Project)
A Venetian Bookseller’s Craft: the Stockbook of Bernardino Giunti (1600-c. 1618)

SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2019
UCLA Humanities Conference Room, Royce Hall 314
9:30 AM
Coffee, pastries, fruit

SESSION III — Moderator: Ann Blair (Harvard University)
10:00
Bronwen Wilson (UCLA)
What’s in a Name?: Giacomo Franco and the Business of Illustrated Printed Books in Venice, c. 1600

Stefania Tutino (UCLA)
Saints, Authors, and Printers: Theology, Spirituality, and Propaganda in Early Modern Catholicism

Katherine Rose McKenna (Vanderbilt University)
More Epic than Actium: Venetian Myth, Spectacular Print, and Female Authorship in the Age of Lepanto

12:30 PM
Lunch Break

SESSION IV — Moderator: Angela Nuovo (University of Milan)
2:00
Goran Proot and Francesco Ammannati (University of Udine, EMoBookTrade Project)
Book Prices from the Officina Plantiniana in a Comparative Perspective (1586–1641)

Renaud Milazzo (University of Udine, EMoBookTrade Project)
In the Mind of a Publisher: Determining the Price of Emblem Books in Antwerp Throughout the Sixteenth Century

Stijn van Rossem (John Carter Brown Library)
Why Books Lie. The Editorial Strategies of Early Modern Printers: The Case of the Verdussen Family (1590-1690)

4:30
Closing Remarks
Angela Nuovo, Conference Organizer (University of Milan)

The ERC-funded EMo BookTrade Project (G.A. No 694476) explores the idea that the so-called printing revolution does not consist in a change in book-making technology but in the process, prolonged over the course of the early modern age, of the formation of the printed book market and the creation of readers as purchasers and consumers of books. In order to demonstrate this, the project is reconstructing the economic and legal framework of the European book market by applying an interdisciplinary approach to the economic study of book history.

By using unique and hitherto unexplored documentary evidence, this project addresses four fundamental questions relating to the growth of a fully developed book trade and the rise of a society of book consumers within the social and religious context of early modern Europe:
–    the economic issue of book prices;
–    the juridical and political issue of the book privilege system (which in turn influenced the process of book pricing);
–    the management of the bookselling business (focusing on businesses in two major cities in the European book trade, Venice (Bernardino Giunti) and Antwerp (Christopher Plantin); and,
–    the technique of building and managing a transnational network for book distribution and sale (analyzing groundbreaking new evidence, an entire year (1522) of correspondence from a Venetian wholesale bookseller, Giovanni Bartolomeo Gabiano).

These four research areas feed into an overarching project which examines the impact of books and the access of readers to them, together with the development in patterns of cultural consumption which meant that printed books lost the luxury status which they had had throughout the incunabula period to become transformed into ‘popoluxe’ goods.

Angela Nuovo is Principal Investigator of the EMoBookTrade project and professor at the University of Milan in the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods.


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