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Biblioteca Comunale “A. Betti” (ex Chiesa Inglese)
Viale E. Whipple

Fondazione Michel de Montaigne

The “Michel de Montaigne” Foundation and a group of academics from the Department of Philology, Literature and Linguistics of Pisa University are pleased to announce that an International Conference will be held in September 2018. The event, the thirteenth of this kind hosted by the Foundation since 2008, will be organised in collaboration with the Istituto Storico Lucchese and the Bagni di Lucca Municipality.
The conference topic focuses on the library and its multiple meanings, starting from its physical location and functional architecture. The library is a special place capable of building close links with other social spaces and set up to collect, index, and classify a variety of texts. The library is also to be seen as a great archive and a symbolic locus associated with the idea of the conservation of knowledge and collective memory as well as with the notion of a continuous recording of information, of a human progress which the library is called on to receive, assess, and ultimately bear witness to. To this public side we could add an interesting private perspective centred on the family library, which, from the eighteenth century onwards, became a sort of status symbol. Another example is to be found in the idea of the library as a space of the self and individual choices which transcend the cultural and literary boundaries and finally turn into the expression of a philosophy of life.
Both in its public and private dimensions, the library can be defined as an inspiring interconnection of worlds where books invite the reader to embark on new, innumerable journeys and make surprising discoveries. Crucially, in our age, digital systems and the advancement of technologies lead us to further ponder the meaning and role of the library: its addressing tradition on the one hand and innovation on the other, but also its looking to a future in which the book as a paper product will in all probability lose the central position it has acquired throughout the history of human culture.
The purpose of our conference is to propose a framework of analysis for the ways in which different historical periods have conceived, interpreted, and represented the library,whether in its socio-cultural functions, or (and especially) in light of its symbolic and metaphorical implications. We welcome contributions which develop aspects connected with the following themes and issues in British, Anglophone, or Italian literature and culture:



  • Meaningful place(s): the semantization of space in the library buildings. 

  • The city library: the relationships and functions of the library in the urban context and/or its differences from it. 

  • Libraries over the course of time: how the circulation of knowledge and literary genres developed or changed; looking at different kinds of libraries (e.g. the medieval monastic library, the public library in the seventeenth century, the eighteenth-century circulating libraries, the National Library, special or specialised libraries, etc.) 

  • The library metaphor: shelters, labyrinths, the Encyclopedia (Umberto Eco), the World (J.L. Borges), and so forth. 

  • Libraries and memory: archives and data storage; case studies, typologies, and aspects relating to Library Science; traditions, handwritten sources, and incunabula; rewriting practices, forgery, and plagiarism. 

  • Libraries of/from the Elsewhere: the library in science fiction, fantastic and fantasy literature. 

  • Growing up in/through the library: examples from children’s and young adult literature. 

  • Library attendants and visitors: the librarian, archivist, and reader in literature, the visual arts, and films. 

  • Libraries and the new technologies: the digital library’s wide-ranging frontiers; hypertexts; computers and futuristic facilities.



◊ SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE: Tony Bareham, Marcello Cherubini,
Roberta Ferrari, Laura Giovannelli, Fausto Ciompi
◊ ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Marcello Cherubini, Angela Amadei,
Bruno Micheletti, Mariavittoria Castrucci, Tommaso Maria Rossi
◊ IN COLLABORATION with: Comune di Bagni di Lucca,

IstitutoStorico Lucchese (Sede Centrale)
◊ SPONSORED by: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca





Paper proposals are due by April 20, 2018 and should be accompanied by an abstract (max 300 words) and a CV (max 150 words). 
The proposals, as well as any information queries, must be sent to:

Marcello Cherubini, Chairman of the “Michel de Montaigne” Foundation, (cell. 335-5821080)

Roberta Ferrari,

Laura Giovannelli,

Review notification will be sent by May 15, 2018.
Please remember that paper presentations should run no longer than 25 minutes each.

Those who wish to participate, whether as speakers or audience, should also fill in and send the enclosed Registration Form to the address by June 15, 2018.
Certificates of attendance can be provided to students, teachers and paper contributors through the Secretary’s Office.
Contributors and participants can book a room at the hotels which have an arrangement with the Foundation. A list of these hotels and their rates will be available in due course.
The registration fee amounts to €80,00 (eighty euros) per head and includes: stationery costs, coffee- and tea-breaks throughout the Conference sessions; the dinner on Friday, the lunch and social dinner on Saturday; a copy of the Tourist Guide Book to Bagni di Lucca.
Payment should be made by bank transfer to:


Fondazione Michel de Montaigne
Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa
Agenzia di Bagni di Lucca
Via Casalini,13 (Italy)
IBAN CODE: IT78N0503470093000000000008

Al Professor Marcello Cherubini


Contributors and participants may easily book a room at the hotels which have an arrangement with the Foundation. A list of these hotels and their rates will be available soon.


For registration see the attached file


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