Oriental impressions: Printing Oriental Languages between West and East, 16th-19th centuries
The “Oriental impressions: Printing Oriental Languages between West and East, 16th-19th centuries” conference, to be held in Paris in December 2023, will bring together an international consortium of researchers to examine the way “Oriental languages” were printed between the 16th and 19th century, in and beyond Europe. It will welcome scholars and practitioners, and provide an opportunity for dialogue between historians, linguists, typographers and graphic designers. The conference will also offer the opportunity to visit the still-active typographic workshop of Paris’s Imprimerie nationale and its renowned collection of typographic material (now located next to Douai). The conference intends to highlight especially the deep historical connections between non-Latin type, Christian missionary work, Orientalism, and European empire-building, a connection seen most readily through the phenomenon of “typographic imperialism.” Addressing the technical, social, political, and cultural issues raised by such practices, conference papers will focus on the technical mobility of machines and technicians; but also on how typographic workshops functioned as truly collective and collaborative enterprises involving a wide variety of actors.