Welcome to the 47th NASSCFL International Conference

The 17th century in France is marked by unprecedented growth in the book trade that touched all principal centers of production and diffusion. Lyon, particularly, in the preceding century with prestigious print shops, played a decisive role in this evolution. While some authors were concerned about a development that multiplied book production and enlarged readership by profoundly transforming how the literary world functions, the book trade gained in legitimacy as literature was constituted into an autonomous social sphere. A century later, the Encyclopédie would highlight “how important literature is to the State, & how much the Book Trade owes to literature” (« combien les Lettres importent à l’Etat, & combien tient aux Lettres la Librairie »).

The 47th international NASSCFL conference will gather 17th-century scholars in Lyon to investigate the links forged in this period between literature, the book, and the book trade. The conference will consist of looking into political, economic, and cultural interactions, and examining the representations and depictions thereof. Examining such a problematic makes perfect sense in Lyon, as it was, under the Ancien Régime, the second editorial center after Paris. Papers will explore their political, economic and cultural aspects, as well as representations of these interactions in literary and other kinds of texts. Lyon, the second printing center of the Ancien Régime after Paris, is the perfect place for such an investigation.

Today, Lyon is still a special place for book history in France, through a strong network of schools and cultural institutions : the Book History Institute (IHL), the National Superior School for Library and Information Sciences (Enssib), the Lyon Public Library (BmL), The Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication (MICG). All of them have accepted to be our partners in the organization of the conference.

We will be happy to introduce the conference participants to Lyon unique print collections and to the traces of their history in the town, with visits of its emblematic locations, as the famous "Rue Mercière":




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