ESTS 2018

Author as Editor
Editor as Author

Fifteenth annual conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship (ESTS 2018).

The official conference website is now accessible at:

Venue: Charles University, Prague

Dates: 15th-17th November 2018


Deadline: 30th April, 2018 extended to 15 May 2018

Acceptance notification: June 2018

Registration deadline: 31st October, 2018

  • Jonas Wellendorf (University of California): Editing and Authoring Medieval Scandinavian Poetry
  • Igor Pilshchikov (Talinn University): Russian Formalist and Post-Formalist Approaches to Textual Scholarship
  • Michael van Dussen (McGill University): Authoritative Reading in Late Medieval England
  • Marjorie Burghart (Université Lyon): TBA (digital humanities)

We are pleased to announce that the 15th International Conference for the European Society for Textual Scholarship will be held in Prague on 15th–17th November 2018.

In an important sense, this year᾽s twofold theme follows up on the agenda of ESTS 2017 (“Editorial Degrees of Intervention”): firstly, by taking the idea of editorial interventions down the imaginary cline towards its far end where editors become authors, and secondly, to strike a thematic balance, by proposing to look into various aspects of a contrastive configuration – of texts edited by their authors. What conditions – such as pressures of ideology, historical-cultural context, urge to interpret or requirements of authenticity – turn editors into authors? And how do we tell the editors – with their complex duties of a scribe, a compiler, a commentator – from the authors? How does this “crossover” bear on these newly-born authors᾽ editorial practices? What circumstances bring authors to start editing their own texts? What are the principal features of this type of editorial process and its final product?

In addition, a special section will be devoted to medieval manuscript culture in which scribes often change their model texts to such a degree that they might be considered their editors or even authors. Who decided to substantially alter an existing text? Under what conditions, within what types of communities of interpretation such transformations took place? What types of changes were made? How were they received by the readers? Papers addressing the nature, reasons, and consequences of such editorial and authorial activities, as well as the connected themes of the concept of author and editor in the Middle Ages are welcome.

Following the tradition of the ESTS, the conference welcomes a wide range of topics. Papers can be on any language and on any period. Participants are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute presentations (followed by 10-minute discussion), or for three-paper sessions. The language of the conference is English. A suggested – though not prescriptive or exhaustive – list of topics includes:

  • The author᾽s voice and the editor᾽s voice: authenticity, interpretation and identity
  • Editors trespassing on authorial land: textual variants and degrees of intervention
  • Authors as editors: challenges and caveats
  • Editors as authors versus facts of language and philology
  • Authors᾽ associates as editors
  • Fluid text and open text in the hands of editors and authors; aesthetics of variance
  • Tradition and the individual talent revisited: cultural, social and historical meanings and contexts of the figure of the author; the place of the editor
  • Readersʼ and community perceptions and constructions of the author-editor continuum
  • Digital re-editing: digitization of published edited text
  • Textology and Prague functional-structural tradition

…as well as other more general topics that have always been fostered by the Society:

  • Digital versus printed editions
  • The target audience
  • Selection of texts worth editing
  • Scholarly editions

Proposals of participation, paper title and abstract (250-300 words, excluding references) should be submitted as an email attachment (preferably .doc or .docx) before 30th April 2018 to the following address:

In addition, proponents of individual papers are kindly requested to supply the following information: presenter’s name, concise biography, address, telephone, email and institutional affiliation.

Proposals of three-paper sessions should include a title, a chair and an intro for the session (ca 100 words), along with titles and abstracts for each paper.

Contributors and panel chairs must pay the conference fee and must be members in good standing of the European Society for Textual Scholarship for 2018 (except invited speakers).

Details about the payment (100€, which covers conference fee and ESTS membership) will be provided by the time registration begins.

Organizing Committee:

  • Jan Čermák
  • Lucie Doležalová
  • Sakari Katajamäki
  • Jakub Říha
  • Ondřej Tichý


Conference email:

For more information about the ESTS, please see