International research conference

Francysk Skaryna and the Renaissance book culture
Skaryna’s Little Travel Book turns 500

Vilnius, 22‒23 September, 2022

2022 marks the 500th year since the first printing house was established in Vilnius, Francysk Skaryna published his Little Travel Book (1522) and thus the age of the printed word and mass communication began in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) as well as in East Europe, testifying to the importance of ways and means of communication for societal development. The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania declared 2022 the Year of Francysk Skaryna. The forthcoming international research conference will address the emergence of printing in the GDL and various issues of book culture and heritage of the first centuries of printing in Europe. The event will continue the tradi- tion of interdisciplinary Vilnius book science conferences. The conference organizers hope to bring together scholars studying creation, publishing, production, distribution and reception of print media by F. Skaryna and other prominent Renaissance figures as well as the GDL and early printed European book heritage. They aim to conceptualize Skaryna studies in the European context, and to promote the development of Skaryna studies in Central and Eastern Europe. The organizers have a broad understanding of the concept of book culture and view it as related to the culture of publishing, book art, artistic printing and bookbinding, and of book distribution and reading. The GDL book heritage is interpreted as collections of the GDL manuscript and print books in Lithuanian and the world memory institutions, as well as research and communication related to these collections.

We invite you to submit papers on the following topics:
•Skaryna and the age of Renaissance. The invention of printing and the modernization of the European society. Skaryna as a printer of the Czech Kingdom and the founder of printing in the GDL. Personality, social class, the context of his life, creative and book publishing activities and their legal, economic, and cultural milieu.
•Litle Travel Book, the first GDL post-incunabulum. It’s origin and structure. Skaryna’s Prague and Vilnius publications.
•Research on Skaryna and his works in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Russia, and other countries.
•Manuscript book culture in the GDL and other European regions before and in the first centuries after the invention of printing.
•The development of printing in Europe. The first print books in national languages. Vilnius, the capital of the GDL, as a centre of writing, publishing and book culture.
•Specific features of print media culture from the mid-15th to the mid-17th century. Printing business and the organization of distribution of prints. Freedom and control of publications. Emergence of new genres and publication types.
•Book culture of the old Lithuania. Multiculturalism of the GDL society, book needs of ethnic and religious communities. Lituanica outside the GDL. Printing, book publishing and distribution in Prussia, Livonia, and other regions.
•Institutional and personal libraries in the GDL and Europe, reading and readers, book dissemination. The emancipation of the reading community.
•The manuscript and print heritage of the GDL: applied research and communication. Research of incunabula, post-incunabula and modern media. Applied research of paper and bookbinding. Book art.
•Dissemination and communication of written (manuscript and print) heritage.
•Francysk Skaryna in historic and cultural memory.