Centre for the History of the Book

Bite-Sized Book History

What connects Margery Kempe and Jack the Ripper? Was William Blake influenced by Italian Renaissance gardens? How do Edinburgh’s homeless access books? All these questions and more will be the topic of discussion of Bite-Sized Book History, a mini conference organised by students of the MSc in Book History and Material Culture.

Over the course of the day, ten speakers, split into four panels, will hold 20-minute presentations on their research within the field of book history. We will also be joined by Melanie Hacke from The University of Leuven, who will deliver a plenary talk on the reception and translation of foreign cultures in British romantic periodicals.

Join us for a day filled with discovery and exploration of some of the most unexplored aspects of book history. Everyone is welcome to our day-long event.


Time Title
9:30am– 11:00am

Panel One: Marginalised Communities and Reading

"The Royal Edinburgh Asylum and the Establishment of Bibliotherapy" – Isla Macfarlane

"A Quiet Rebellion: The function of radical bookshops and their role in organised social resistance" - Toni Velikova

"“The Unknown Public”: Edinburgh’s hidden homeless readers" - Daisy Stafford

11:00am– 11:30am Tea break
11:30am– 12:15pm

Plenary lecture

"Beyond Bibliometrics: The Reception and Translation of Foreign Cultures in British Romantic Periodicals" - Melanie Hacke, University of Leuven

12:15pm– 1:15pm Lunch break
1:15pm- 2:15pm

Panel Two: Authorship

"The Commentator, the Author, and the Performance of Margery Kempe" - Nastassja Alfonso

"Jack The Ripper’s Authorial Legacy" - Rachel Games

2:15pm– 3:45pm

Panel Three: Intermediality

"Preliminary Evidence of Links Between Italian Gardens, Material Culture, and William Blake" - Kirk Chilas

"Death and Desire: Examining the visual legacy of James Bond" - Huzan Bharucha

"Material is the Metaphor: Identifying the continued hegemony of paper in the digital age" - Thomas Hadley

3:45pm– 4:00pm Tea break
4:00pm– 5:00pm

Panel Four: Food and Drink in Book History

"Cooking During Conflict: Cookbooks in Britain during the Second World War" - Helen Kabes

"Figuring Gender through Gourmand Sexuality in 1970s Lifestyle Publications" - Hannah Swan

Glasses on a pile of books

Bite-Sized Book History

The Centre for the History of the book invites you to Bite-Sized Book History, a mini conference organised by students of the MSc in Book History and Material Culture.

Room G.02
50 George Square