Continuities and Innovations:
Popular Print Cultures—Past and Present, Local and Global
2nd Floor, Humanities Centre,
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
August 27-30, 2008
This is an international conference to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 27 to 30 August 2008. The conference and its associated popular culture festivals consider what most people read, here and elsewhere, now and in the past. Though popular print shows an almost overwhelming diversity, adaptability, and mobility over the centuries, and around the world, it is still measured—and too often disparaged—in relation to canonical literature and "high" culture. Yet people read what they do because they find it interesting, and they find it interesting because it speaks to their real material interests, in everyday life. Popular print characteristically includes both words and images, and it is intertwined with music and performance. In these forms it has been and continues to be the most powerful cultural force in human history. Morphing into new media and new technologies, from the phonograph record through radio, film, and television to video games and the internet, it continues to be an awesome cultural, ideological, and political force.
The conference program of papers and presentations and concurrent popular culture festivals include a series of public events that illustrate, celebrate, create, and show the mobility of popular print cultures. Popular print culture is now a global phenomenon, with striking similarities in what most people read, anywhere. Yet there are also striking local differences, inflections, and variations in what most people read, here or elsewhere. In this complex crossing of the local and global, Canada is one of the leading players, through Harlequin enterprises. The "Continuities and Innovations" conference and festival will bring together in Harlequin's homeland all those who are interested in popular print culture—readers and writers, publishers and fans, distributors and sellers, librarians and collectors, researchers and adapters, teachers and students, and of course student and full-time researchers in many academic disciplines.