New Directions in the Materiality of Letter-Writing: From Antiquity to the Present Day – CALL FOR PAPERS

Date / time: 26 January, 12:00 am

New Directions in the Materiality of Letter-Writing: From Antiquity to the Present Day - CALL FOR PAPERS


A hybrid symposium at University College Dublin, Ireland | 29 and 30 May 2024

Organisers: Dr Helen Newsome and Professor Danielle Clarke

Call for Papers, deadline – 26 January 2024

This symposium will bring together scholars working on new directions, approaches, and theories in the study of the materiality of letter-writing (epistolary materiality), from antiquity to the present day. The scope of this symposium includes correspondence written in all languages. The symposium will feature a keynote lecture by Dr Alison Wiggins (University of Glasgow) and a workshop by Dr Helen Newsome (University College Dublin).

We invite submissions from scholars of all disciplines and sectors, including those from GLAM institutions. We particularly encourage submissions from PhD students and early career researchers. We welcome proposals in a variety of formats. Such formats might, for example, include 20 minute papers, panel proposals, a ‘show and tell’ of a new resource or text, a roundtable, or a ‘conversation’ between two (or more) scholars.

Themes that might be addressed include:

  • Epistolary materiality across linguistic and national boundaries
  • Gender and the materiality of letter-writing
  • Epistolary materiality in non-elite contexts
  • The relationship between the language and materiality of letters
  • Epistolary materiality and archival practice
  • Letter-writing materiality and print and digital editions
  • Transhistorical perspectives on epistolary materiality
  • Innovative methodologies and tools for the study of letter-writing materiality

Please submit a 200-word abstract to by 26 January 2023. Participants will be contacted by 2 February 2024. Please contact Helen Newsome ( if you have any questions about the format or themes of the symposium, or if you have any accessibility requests. Bursaries may be available for postgraduate students, ECRs, and/or independent scholars.

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