Polish Studies Newsletter


Date of the event: 16.09.2021 - 17.09.2021
Added on: 23.03.2021

The Catholic Reformation and the Book

Type of the event:

This two-day virtual conference invites scholars to examine the interactions and mutual influences between the Catholic Reformation and the printed book.

Histories of printing and religious controversy in early modern Europe usually focus on the powerful impetus supplied by the development of print to the spread of Protestant movements.

In contrast, book production that set out to promote Roman Catholic ideas and values has not attracted the same degree of scholarly interest, despite the fact that the Catholic Reformation counts among the most powerful of the factors that shaped not only the religious and political but also the cultural history of Europe after the Council of Trent. The defenders of the old ways were well aware of the far-reaching consequences, both potentially beneficial and detrimental, of the invention of the printing press for their cause. This consciousness gave rise to many and varied solutions: from the Index librorum prohibitorum, through the reform of liturgical books, to the systematic provision of cheap devotional reading matter in the vernacular.


The aim of the conference is to stimulate discussion on the uses of the printed book by Roman Catholics and the role of this medium in the consolidation of opposition to the message of the Protestant Reformation and the implementation of Tridentine reforms. We hope to bring together book historians, archivists, literary scholars, and librarians to explore how the Catholic Reformation used printed matter as a vehicle for ideas, and what influences the movement exerted on European book markets and book cultures.

Both case studies and more general overviews are welcomed. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- developments in international and local markets (manufacturing and distribution of the Catholic book, the role of major centres and peripheries);

- new audiences (printed matter as a pastoral and missionary tool, popular devotion);

- inter-confessional exchanges (controversy and polemic, inspirations and imitations, common areas of Christian heritage and tradition);

- the book in the life of religious orders and organizations;

- the cultural impact of post-Tridentine printing (new genres, their authors and readers, the shaping of new publishing conventions);

- censorship and legal regulations;

- typography and book aesthetics;

- bibliographic evidence and archival sources;

- big data and bibliometric research.

We hope to publish a peer-reviewed volume based on the conference contributions in the series ‘The Library of the Written Word’ by Brill.

The language of the conference will be English.

Please send paper proposals (paper title, an abstract of max. 300 words and a short bibliographical note) to Justyna Kiliańczyk-Zięba (justyna.kilianczyk-zieba@uj.edu.pl) and Magdalena Komorowska (magdalena.komorowska@uj.edu.pl) by 1 May 2021. You will be informed as to whether your proposal has been accepted by 15 June 2021.


Application deadline for speakers:
Added on:
23 March 2021; 13:13 (Mariola Wilczak)
Edited on:
23 March 2021; 13:13 (Mariola Wilczak)

See also


Shaping new ways to open the book. A workshop of the HIRMEOS project

The HIRMEOS project (High Integration of Research Monographs in the European Open Science infrastructure), a project of the OPERAS research infrastructure (operas-eu.org) is organizing a workshop at the ELPUB conference in Marseille on 2 June on the topic of "Shaping new ways to open the book".


Traumatic Modernities: From Comparative Literature to Medical Humanities / International Conference and Seminars



Varieties of Meaning and Content / The third "Context, Cognition and Communication"

The third Context, Cognition and Communication Conference will be hosted by the Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. The main theme of the conference is "Varieties of Meaning and Content".



In recent years linguistic conferences organized by the Białystok circle of neophilologists have established a strong tradition in terms of providing a forum for the exchange of views on the nature of language. It all started almost fifteen years ago, in 2002. The main aim of the conferences was to provide a meeting ground for a wide range of scholars: linguists, literary scholars, foreign language teaching methodologists, to mention but a few groups of researchers participating in the events. The conferences explored the relationship between language, culture, and social interaction. They were often organized in co-operation with French language scholars.

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