Books at Bristol is delighted to announce a one-day, interdisciplinary conference at the University of Bristol.
How do we know when we have reached the end of a book? What do we, as readers, expect to find at the end? With the last word(s) of the ‘text proper’ typically followed by author notes, afterwords, commentaries, indices, blank pages, and adverts for other texts, what do we, in fact, consider to be the ‘end’ of the book? How are our expectations forestalled or fulfilled by this paratextual (and epitextual) material, and how do the framing structures that end a book affect the reading, or rereading, of a text? Further, how does the end affect the beginning of a book, and what dialogue emerges between authors and readers in this liminal zone?
‘The End of the Book’ aims to consider how answers to these questions have evolved over time, from the classical era through to the present day. Its purpose is to reflect upon such answers, and how they might be reframed by advances in technology where closure itself becomes increasingly problematic in an ever-expanding virtual world of potentially infinite text, rendering the end of the book obsolete and the reader trapped, almost indefinitely, in the realms of interpretation.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
A provisional programme can be found on the Books at Bristol website.
Organized by Dr Rhiannon Daniels (Modern Languages), Dr Jennifer Batt (English), Mr Richard Cole (Classics and Ancient History) and Books at Bristol, with the support of the Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition (IGRCT), and the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts (BIRTHA).