This two-day symposium will explore the ways handwriting, print, and the body work together to make sense, intellectually and physically. Today, we often hear debates about whether the printed page will become an outmoded technology replaced by the digital, supposedly in the same way that print replaced handwriting. Historically, however, handwriting and print have shaped each other, and usually involve working in a variety of media; Aldus Manutius (1449-1515), for example, based the font he used on his 1501 edition of Virgil on his own italic writing, while the double-column format, the red letter highlights, and the enlarged initials that begin chapters in many modern Bibles continue the conventions used in medieval manuscripts. Even today’s electronic texts that are “born digital” rely on multiple conventions and techniques borrowed from both handwriting and print to make sense to the viewer/reader visually, emotionally, and intellectually. The symposium will feature plenary speakers and roundtables of ongoing work within the Texas A&M community, and is free and open to all.
Margaret J.M. Ezell – Distinguished Professor in English and Sara and John Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M
Mary Ann O’Farrell – Associate Professor in English at Texas A&M
Todd Samuelson – Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives