The European Society for Textual Scholarship

Textual Scholarship and the Canon

Hosted by the Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.
The fourth International Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship
22nd to 24th of November 2007

The deadline for the conference has passed. Contact Michael Stolz for more information.

Textual Scholarship is mostly concerned with authors and texts which belong to a cultural canon, but at the same time it is also engaged in the formation and reformation of that canon itself. Most of the stages and aspects of the emergence of the canon is directly related to the issues of transmission, editing, publication, and dissemination of the texts — the issues that are also crucial to Textual Scholarship.

The literary canon of the Western European nations was influenced by the old tradition of editing Classical, Biblical, and Patristic literature in which canonization is an everlasting question. In respect to this, the canon of the nations of Central and East Europe developed relatively late in the context of the mass dissemination of books and of modern philology. Both comparisons and analyses of the models of interaction between those literatures are promising. The notion of the canon is one aspect among others in which Textual Scholarship is impacted by the theories that call into question hierarchies of value, as well as by the new media that influence the way canon and the modes of its existence are viewed. On the other hand, electronic editing and especially internet publishing are important factors in terms of the reformed or the reforming canon, insofar as they change the nature and scope of the accessibility of literary works and of their particular versions.

The different nature of literary works held to be the pride of national literature was important in determining the differences between the Anglo-Saxon, German, French, and other schools of Textual Scholarship. At the same time one should raise the question as to how the different emphasis of these schools on certain aspects of the texts and their distinct editorial strategies could have helped to focus the attention of the reading public on certain authors and works in exclusion of others.

Controversies regarding 'canonical texts', its synonyms or euphemisms ('standard text', 'stable text' etc.) and antonyms ('polytext', 'multiple text', 'fluctuating text') also attest that the issue of canon is relevant for discussions in the field of Scholarly Editing.

Textual Scholarship, just as any other area of scholarship, has a canon of its own, which underwent major upheavals in the recent decades. It also has its own 'canonised' scholars, scholarly works, and the evolution within the canon. Establishment of the most novel tendencies in this area is also a worthwhile goal.

Finally, the discussion of the concept of CANON itself, its scope and application in the context of Textual Scholarship seems to be a meaningful undertaking in its own right.

Topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to:

Organizers: The European Society for Textual Scholarship (ESTS), Vilnius University, Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

The deadline for proposals has passed, but enquiries can be sent to the Programme Chair
Professor Michael Stolz
Cc: Dr Paulius Subacius

You could also get in touch by snail-mail:
Prof. Michael Stolz
Institut für Germanistik
Länggass-Strasse 49
CH-3000 Bern 9

Last updated May 8th, 2007
Page maintained by B. Bordalejo
Web Design by dreamLogic