University of Saskatchewan, Humanities Research Unit, & Mendel Art Gallery
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, June 9 - 10, 2000
"The Future of the Page" conference gathered scholars, graduate students and members of the artistic community together to explore the role of the page in the development of human communication. We focussed on the history of page design from papyrus roll to manuscript codex to printed book to hypertext, examining how the page has been structured as a site for information display and how it has shaped notions of linearity, information transfer and information access.
The talks approached the page in terms of its materials (papyrus, parchment, paper, and digital information), its architecture (the underlying arrangement of information on a page or what medieval writers called its ordinatio) and its ideologies (the ways in which the arrangement of information shapes or reflects cultural systems). We considered how these aspects of the page have determined and displayed human thought, and what the consequences of digitization will be for a knowledge-based culture in the future.
How does a printer of Renaissance legal texts fit enough information onto the page? How do contemporary visual artists appropriate page design as a form of political critique? When did writers become conscious of the page as a physical barrier shaping their work? Which will become obsolete first: the page or the internet? How did printed marginal commentary contribute to the revival of English history on the Elizabethan stage? What does it mean to see our bodies as a page—the textual maps of cellular structure potentially as copyrighted databases? How is the page used literally and metaphorically in 3-D digital images of the human body (in the Visible Human Project from the National Library of Medicine, for example). How does the digital environment reconceive the page and the page's future? Are we still structuring our pages according to the principles of scholastic ordinatio? These are some of the questions we will continue to address.
For further information contact:
Also see our website on Architectures, Ideologies and Materials of the Page.
conference is generously supported by:
Updated May 25, 2000.
Expect frequent updates.