Alphabetical Nation - dictionaries and encyclopedias within and across borders

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are among the most frequently consulted books, yet we know remarkably little about the social and political life of these texts.

Reference works can be both imaginative texts and scholarly instruments. During an afternoon of talks, we will look at the national and transnational heritage that has been created through the making and dissemination of various reference works. Though sometimes dry, dictionaries and encyclopedias can be creative works, instrumental in shaping cultural and national histories.

Programme

Keynote 

13:15 Professor Simon Burrows, University of Leeds - Referece Books, Text Books and Enlightenment Cosmopolitan Culture, 1770-1790

Other speakers 

14:15 Jens Erik Mogensen - Words in Conflict: German Dictionaries

15:15 Robert Jensen-Rix - Harmless Drudgery: The Politics of Samuel Johnson's "Dictionary of the English Language"

15:15 Professor Charles Lock - Our English Words: The Founding of the OED

15:45 Andrew Miller - Visual Dictionaries

16:15 Katrine Andersen - The Legibility of the World: Linguistic Sharpness in Spanish Literature