Call for papers on being a typographer

Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, part of Birmingham City University (UK), is planning a one-day symposium on the role of typographers past, present, and future. It will take place on March 14, 2012. They’d like a two-page proposal of a topic you’d like to present. Send in Word format, along with a succinct curriculum vitae, to Dr Caroline Archer at caroline.archer@bcu.ac.uk .
It must be received by 12 noon, 1 November 2011.

Here’s what they say:

In the past typographers required both erudition and a knowledge of printing processes, including that of punch-cutting, type founding and printing; and only those who combined an understanding of all three were fit to be styled a typographer. By the early twentieth century the definition of typographer was restricted to the designer of a printed page as distinct from the compositor or machine operator. Nowadays ‘typographer’ has become a vague term, which takes no account of the inherent differences that technology has brought to the discipline: typography is no longer a vocation but an emergent profession difficult to define. But whether typography can be accounted an ancient calling or a new profession, it still requires a high degree of literacy, discipline and technical knowledge: it also needs some way is needed of distinguishing between the ancillaries of the profession and the truly literate and practical typographer.

This symposium will look at the changing roles of typography’s past; examine the nature of typography’s present; and soothsayer into typography’s future.

–Bob McCamant

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