Artists’ books arrive in Bristol!

12 12 2013

Thirteen artists’ books commissioned for Boccaccio’s 700th anniversary  are on display in the Quiet Room of the Library at the University of the West of England’s Bower Ashton campus from now until 31 January 2014.

Come along to an open afternoon with the exhibition curator, Rhiannon Daniels, on Tuesday 28 January, when you can see selected books out of their display cases. Please come to Room OC4 in the Centre for Fine Print Research, Bower Ashton, UWE, at any time between 12 and 5pm. All welcome!

From the University of Bristol precinct, the Bower Ashton library is a short drive or 45 minute walk away. Wessex Bus 505 (Queen’s Road bus stop) and Wessex Red 11 (city centre stops) both go to the Bower Ashton campus. The library is open Monday-Sunday during term time, and Monday-Friday during the vacations. Further opening times and directions are available here:

The artists’ books have travelled from Manchester, where they were part of the ‘Locating Boccaccio exhibition’ curated by Rhiannon Daniels (Bristol), Guyda Armstrong and Stephen Milner (Manchester), at the John Rylands Library. Key items from the Rylands’ historic collections of manuscripts and rare books related to Boccaccio continue to be on display until 20 December 2013.

For further information, please contact Rhiannon Daniels


Directions to our venues

2 07 2013

With the conference accelerating towards us, here are some travel directions to  our conference venues. Please note that the Locating Boccaccio conference does not take place on the University of Manchester campus, and will be held at the  John Rylands Library  and Manchester Town Hall.

Delegates who are attending the exhibition launch from 5.30pm on Wednesday 10th July should make their way to the Rylands Library on Deansgate, while those who will arrive for the conference itself on Thursday and Friday should go to Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square. Registration for day delegates will take place from 8.30-9am on Thursday and Friday. The conference will decamp again to the Rylands from 4.30-7pm on Thursday afternoon.

The map shows the location of these two buildings, and a walking route between them.

For general information about travelling to Manchester, please see the information under Maps and Travel here. You can download a printable map of the city centre here – the Town Hall is marked in blue. A map of the city centre will also be included in your conference pack.

Conference registration is open

6 05 2013

Finally! Our conference registration is now open, and you can book and pay using the University of Manchester’s online conference store. The updated programme is also available, but please note that it may still be subject to minor changes between now and the conference itself.

Hotel accommodation in Manchester

6 05 2013

We don’t have an official conference hotel, but we can recommend some reasonably priced hotels nearby for conference participants.

Within five minutes walking distance of Manchester Town Hall is the Hotel Ibis Manchester Centre, on Portland Street; reservations can be made via their website. Slightly further away (about 20 minutes walk) is the University of Manchester Business School, which offers single and double rooms (breakfast extra). Further details of how to reserve your room at the Business School are available here.

More luxurious options include the Palace Hotel on Oxford Street, the Radisson Edwardian in the legendary Free Trade Hall, and the sumptuous Midland Hotel (both on Peter Street) If you wish to make your own hotel arrangements, please note that most of the conference will take place in Manchester Town Hall, in Albert Square, and the postcode is M2 5DB.

We recommend that you book your accommodation as soon as possible, as the conference coincides with the Manchester International Festival, and the city might fill up fast!

Special offer for conference participants

6 05 2013

Incline_Press_editionTo accompany our international conference and exhibition, we have prepared a new commemorative edition of three lives from the sixteenth-century English translation of Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris, with a modernized text and reproductions of seven images from two early printed editions held in the John Rylands  Library of the University of Manchester.

This limited edition publication is being printed by Incline Press, a private press that operates in the traditional manner of interpreting texts that please the printer. This edition is printed from metal type using Poliphilus, the 1923 recasting of the design used for Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius in 1499. The rubricated drop initials for each section are printed from wood engravings made by Mary Byfield in the 1840s, printed here for the first time since being cut for the publisher William Pickering.

All copies are bound by hand, a hundred and fifty as paperbacks at £18, and fifty as hardbacks at £36.

We have arranged a special rate of £10 for paperback copies, available to registered participants only. If you are interested in purchasing one or more copies of this publication, please email Rhiannon Daniels (r.j.daniels at to notify her of your pre-order. You will then be able to collect and pay for your book(s) in cash on registration.

Copies of the paperback edition (i.e. not pre-ordered) will also be on sale during the conference at the reduced price of £15.

Call For Papers: Locating Boccaccio in 2013, 10-12 July 2013

8 07 2012

Download the CFP: Locating_Boccaccio_CFP

Locating Boccaccio in 2013 is a series of events to be held at the University of Manchester, UK, to commemorate 700 years since Boccaccio’s birth. Individual papers and panel proposals are now invited for this international conference, to be held at the historic Manchester Town Hall and John Rylands Library, 10-12 July 2013.

Where is Boccaccio in 2013? We seek to problematize the field of Boccaccio studies, and the historical figure of Boccaccio himself, in this anniversary year seven centuries after his birth.

Boccaccio’s status as one of the canonical tre corone of Italian medieval literature remains unchallenged (or perhaps, little discussed), yet his standing in the academy sometimes seems to be regarded as rather less impressive than that of his ‘senior’ colleagues Dante and Petrarch. How and why has this conception of Boccaccio and his writings come about? Does this critical trend derive from Boccaccio’s own articulations of his authorial anxieties? Or is this historiographical strand in fact a by-product of the long-standing Dante and Petrarch industries, which have sidelined Boccaccio to a supporting role in the narratives of these great authors?

In our conference we will seek to locate Boccaccio temporally (in 2013 and in the past), materially (in the forms of his writings and the forms of their subsequent incarnations), geographically (within Italy and beyond), and critically.

Papers and panel proposals are invited on all areas of Boccaccio studies, but issues we specifically hope to address include:

  • Boccaccio and material/textual/visual cultures
  • Palaeographical and bibliographical approaches
  • Textual and intermedial translation and transmission
  • The critical history of Boccaccio studies; historiography and national traditions
  • Boccaccio and the tre corone; inside and outside the canon
  • Gender and queer readings of Boccaccio and Boccaccio studies

Papers may be delivered in English and Italian and should be no more than 20 minutes in length, while panel proposals should contain three papers. Single papers and panel submissions should be submitted by 30 October 2012, and we hope to publish the provisional programme by 15 December 2012. Enquiries and submissions may be addressed to the organizers:

Guyda Armstrong (

Rhiannon Daniels (

Stephen J. Milner (

Further details and updates will be posted on this blog in due course.

Manchester Gothic

6 07 2012

Our Locating Boccaccio conference will be held in two of Manchester’s – or possibly even the world’s – most iconic Neo-Gothic buildings.

The close-up sessions and exhibition will take place in the John Rylands Library, while the conference itself will be held five minutes’ walk away, in Manchester Town Hall.

The Town Hall is a massive Neo-Gothic extravaganza, designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse, and is one of the incontestable landmarks of the North. Inside it’s a mixture of medievalist fantasy and sturdy municipal practicality, where the stained-glass windows are left uncoloured, so as to let as much light in as possible in this sooty rainy city.

(Photo by Iris Chase, reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 2.0 license from Wikimedia Commons)

The Town Hall also contains a famous nineteenth-century fresco cycle by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown, known as The Manchester Murals, with scenes from the city’s history.

If you click here, you can watch a 5-minute video about the Town Hall below, in the Guardian’s Best British Buildings series. Look out for the bees!