Thursday, April 22, 2010

Call for Papers: Geographies of Intellectual Property

via the Penn History of Material Texts workshop list:

International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property
Call for Papers
Second Annual ISHTIP Workshop

Geographies of Intellectual Property

American University, Washington, D.C.
24-26 September 2010

Following our first successful meeting in June 2009 at Bocconi University in Milan on "The Construction of Immateriality," the second ISHTIP workshop, to be held September 24-26, 2010 in Washington, D.C. will consider "Geographies of Intellectual Property." We are interested in
(i) the ways in which ideas, innovations, and creativity are "mapped" and thus transformed from actions, practices, and communications into property, and sovereignty over the mapped object(s) is attributed to particular individuals or creators;
(ii) those aspects of ideas and information that elude the capacity of intellectual property systems, because they are too slippery or mutable to be mapped (ideas as such, style, timbre, discoveries, mathematical theories, scenes à faire which resist the processes of "propertization"), or are regarded as incapable of ascription to particular individuals (genres, gossip, rumors, jokes, urban myths);
(iii) the ways that intellectual property laws (their historical precursors and social analogues) have understood or sought to influence the geographical movement of ideas and information (including the incentivization and restriction of the movement of texts, traders, machinery and trades through the grant of privileges, through criminal laws, and other arrangements);
(iv) the role of intellectual property laws (their historical precursors and social analogues) in channelling the movement of ideas, their modes of migration, and generative capacities of knowledge across conceptual spaces, through networks, via spillovers and the generation of clusters and hubs; the limitations of territorially-based rights in controlling the movement of information across peer to peer systems and through social networks;
(v) the relationship between intellectual property, authorship, invention, nationhood and empire; the role of intellectual property in reinforcing ideas of "place," through recognition of rights in "geographical indications" and denominations of origin.
(vi) the understanding of the many spatial dimensions of intellectual property, such as geographical and territorial restrictions, language barriers, and inter-linguistic relationships, the distinction between public and private places, as well as between virtual and physical space.
By focusing on the heterogeneous roots of our present intellectual property regime the workshop aims to foster richer contextualization of this regime than can be provided by legal history working alone. To this end it will assemble scholars from across the disciplines - from anthropology, economic and business history, the history of science, literary and cultural history, as well as from legal history and theory.
Up to ten papers/works in progress will be accepted; they will circulate in advance and will receive intensive discussion at the workshop. Case studies, close analyses of constellations of social and/or legal practices, and close readings of significant episodes in the history of information management are especially welcome. A maximum length of 9,000 words is recommended.

Participants who have already confirmed that they will attend include: Lionel Bently, Cambridge U; Mario Biagioli, Harvard U; Maurizio Borghi, Brunel U; Kathy Bowrey, U of New South Wales; Ronan Deazley, U of Glasgow; Christophe Geiger, U of Strasbourg; Johanna Gibson, Queen Mary U of London; Peter Jaszi, American U; Lilla Montagnani, Bocconi U; Martha Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve U

Important dates
Prospectus submission deadline: 5 June 2010
Notification of acceptance: 25 June 2010
Registration deadline (for all participants): 24 August 2010
Deadline for submission of papers: 24 August 2010
Workshop: 24-26 September 2010

For information and program updates, see
Please address questions and submissions to:
Submissions should include a prospectus of approximately 2 pages and a short (maximum 2-page) resumé

Organizing committee
Lionel Bently, Maurizio Borghi, Peter Jaszi, Martha Woodmansee

AJS Panels

The deadline for proposals for the Association for Jewish Studies conference is coming. I am happy to have the "Blog for the Study of the Jewish Book" serve as a clearinghouse for papers looking for panels and panels looking for papers.
Please send me a brief description at ashear[at]pitt[dot]edu.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lehmann Workshop at Penn

Space is still available.


The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Library and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, are pleased to announce the tenth annual Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop to be held on May 23-24, (Sunday-Monday), 2010, at the Katz Center.
This year's workshop will be led by Dr. Emile Schrijver, Curator of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana at the University of Amsterdam. The workshop will treat "The Jewish Book In and Around Amsterdam," and will focus on three main topics: (1) the heyday of Hebrew printing in Amsterdam in the 17th century and its coming into existence; (2) the printed and manuscript book tradition of the Amsterdam Sephardim; and (3) the influence of the Amsterdam Hebrew book on surrounding Jewish communities. The last session will focus on future research agendas for the various fields of research dealt with in the earlier sessions. The sessions will include detailed readings of title pages, colophons, and relevant archival and other primary and secondary sources.
The workshop is open to professors and independent scholars, professional librarians in the field of Jewish and related studies, and graduate students in Jewish Studies. Attendance at previous workshops is not a prerequisite for admission.
Because much of the Workshop will be devoted to the reading of Hebrew texts like colophons, it is necessary that all participants be able to read non-vocalized Hebrew texts.
For faculty and professionals, tuition is $250. In addition to attendance and all materials for the workshop, the tuition includes two or three nights in a hotel (double-occupancy) for the nights of May 22 and 23 (with the option of May 21), and all meals and refreshments (all kosher) during the course of the workshop.
Graduate students may apply for a scholarship to the workshop, that covers tuition, hotel accommodations, and meals. N.B. To apply for the scholarship, a graduate student should write us giving the details of his or her academic program and a brief statement explaining how the workshop will further his or her academic studies. S/he should also ask a faculty advisor to write us a letter of recommendation on the student's behalf.
Attendance is limited. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please notify us immediately. Full payment must be received by March 1, 2010. Make checks payable to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.”
A registration form is available at:

Please address all correspondence to:

Lehmann Workshop
c/o Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall
255 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in the History of the Jewish Book has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation along with grants from Mr. Albert Friedberg, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Andrew H. Cohn, Esq. C'66, and the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jeremy Stolow, Orthodox by Design

Jeremy Stolow's book on Artscroll Orthodox by Design has now been published by the University of California Press.

Click on the image to see the flyer.

Post-Docs in Humanities and Social Sciences at Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences Announces a New
Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for 2011

For the first time, the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and
Sciences is offering up to eight postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities
and social sciences to begin in January 2011. These inaugural fellowships
are designed to attract excellent scholars from outside the University of
Pittsburgh and to offer junior scholars the time, space, and financial
support necessary to produce significant scholarship early in their

The Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships are for one year and are
renewable for an additional year. Fellows will teach two courses per year,
complete scholarly work, and participate in the academic and intellectual
community of the School of Arts and Sciences and the department or program
with which they are affiliated. The fellowship offers junior scholars the
time, space, and financial support necessary to produce significant
scholarship early in their careers. The annual stipend will be $45,000.
Fellows will receive an annual research fund of $3,500 and a one-time
reimbursement of up to $1,500 for moving expenses.

We invite applications from qualified candidates in the humanities and
social sciences who have received the PhD from outside of the University of
Pittsburgh between December 1, 2007 and November 30, 2010. Applicants who
do not have the PhD in hand at the time of application must provide a
letter from the Department Chair or the Advisor stating that the PhD degree
will be conferred before the term of the fellowship begins.

Postdoctoral education is an important facet of research and scholarship at
the University of Pittsburgh, and the University has developed a
comprehensive set of guidelines for postdoctoral fellows and the faculty,
departments, and programs who work with them.

Application Requirements and Procedure
Applicants should submit the following materials:
1. An application form (available at
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Detailed statement of current research interests (1,000 words) that
clearly outlines the goals of the research you will undertake during the
term of the fellowship.
4. One writing sample no longer than 20 pages.
5. A copy of the Dissertation Table of Contents
6. A two-page statement of teaching interests and one or two course
proposals (subject area, brief syllabus, proposed methods) for a 15-week
course directed towards advanced undergraduates or graduate students.
7. Three letters of recommendation. (NOTE: Letter writers should e-mail
their recommendations directly to, using the
applicant’s name and the word, “Postdoc Recommendation” in the e-mail
subject line.)
Application Deadline and Notification of Awards
All application materials—including letters of recommendation—must be
submitted electronically before June 1, 2010. Only fully completed formal
applications will be considered. It is your responsibility to ensure that
all documentation is complete and that referees submit their letters of
recommendation to by the closing date. Awards will be
announced in July 2010.
The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action/equal opportunity
employer and educator. Women, minorities, and international candidates are
especially encouraged to apply.