From First to Last Texts, Creators, Readers, Agents

State Library of New South Wales :  9 July 2018
Western Sydney University Parramatta South Campus : 10-12 July 2018
Optional Excursions : 13 July 2018

SHARP 2018 is hosted by the Western Sydney University Library. The Library is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to service delivery, organisational dexterity and expertise in providing high quality scholarly digital resources. This will be the first time that the annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing is held outside of Europe and North America in its 25-year history. The theme “From First to Last” – of origins, endings and renewals – acknowledges book history’s expansion worldwide across disciplines, cultures and languages.

Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a meeting place for the Asia-Pacific region, with iconic architectural landmarks such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, in a stunning natural harbour setting. The World Heritage listed Blue Mountains are within easy reach of Sydney. Late June, the average daytime temperatures are generally around 14°C in the city while the average high temperature can reach 18°C.

Western Sydney University is considered by the Times Higher Education to be one of the world’s best 100 universities under the age of fifty. SHARP 2018 will take place on its historic Parramatta South campus, in the multicultural heart of Western Sydney. Parramatta is connected to central Sydney via regular train, bus and ferry services. Parramatta was the first inland European settlement in Australia, founded the same year as Sydney in 1788. Aboriginal clans have occupied this land for more than 40,000 years.

The conference will also feature events at the iconic State Library of New South Wales, which has exceptionally rich collections of Australian literature and manuscript material relating to Australia.

Conference delegates will also be provided with guest access to AustLit in the lead up to and during SHARP 2018. AustLit is the most comprehensive record of Australian print culture history available supporting research into publishing history and the many ways stories have been told and analysed over time.

Featured Speakers

Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Webby

State Library of New South Wales Keynote

Elizabeth Webby is a literary critic, editor and scholar in the field of literature. Her publications include Early Australian Poetry (1982), Modern Australian Plays (1990) and the edited volumes Colonial Voices (1989), The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature (2000) and The Academy Edition of Rolf Boldrewood’s Robbery Under Arms (edited with Paul Eggert, 2006). She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and edited their journal Humanities Australia from 2010-17. In 2003 she received both the Centenary Medal and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature’s AA Phillips Award. In 2004 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Australian literary culture.

Aunty Sandra Lee

Aboriginal Elder on Campus, (Traditional Owner) and Darug Elder (Boorooberongal clan)

Aunty Sandra is a proud Darug Elder and descendant of Gomebeeree, chief of the Boorooberongal clan of the Darug nation. Aunty Sandra continues to promote Darug heritage and culture with her family’s centuries-old connections to the Blacktown area. In acknowledgement of her vast contributions to the area, In 2012, Aunty Sandra received a University of Western Sydney Community Award, was a joint winner of the Blacktown International Women of The Year award and also received Life Membership of the Western Sydney Community Forum. Aunty Sandra is a strong advocate of First Peoples sovereignty, changes to the Native Title legislation, education and the welfare of Aboriginal youth.

Professor Richard Nile

Professor of Australian History, Head of Humanities and Creative Arts, Chair Foundation for Australian Literary Studies, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Books: The Making of the Australian literary Imagination; The Australian Legend and its Discontents.

Associate Professor Katherine Bode

Literary and Textual Studies, College of Arts & Social Sciences, Australian National University. Books: Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field; A World of Fiction: Digital Archives and the Future of Literary History.

Professor Zhiqiang Zhang

Author of The Publishing Research History of China in 20th Century (2004) and A Chronicle of Jiangsu Publishing Events from 77 B.C. to 1948 (1996), Professor Zhiqiang Zhang is based at Nanjing University.

Professor David Carter

Professor of Australian Literature & Cultural History, School of Communication & Arts, University of Queensland. Books: Always Almost Modern: Australian Print Cultures and Modernity; Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity: Issues in Australian Studies.

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Gale, a Cengage company, provides libraries with original and curated content as well as modern research tools that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 60 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights.

Adam Matthew Digital publishes unique primary sources from archives around the world. We believe that at the heart of education is the freedom to think critically. We reimagine primary sources, to empower current and future generations to challenge, analyse and debate. Our award-winning collections span the humanities and social sciences, from medieval manuscripts to 20th century global politics.

For nearly two decades Better Read Than Dead bookshop has thrived in the heart of Newtown’s King Street, which houses a vibrant community and offers one of the most eclectic shopping experiences in Sydney. Our shop is a literary landmark that nourishes the neighbourhood’s intellectual dynamics with a specially curated collection of books and regular author and community events. Better Read Than Dead’s impressive contemporary space, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and sky-lit mezzanine level create an inviting respite from the busy street and we welcome browsers, advice-seekers and anyone who values a good old-fashioned book chat. We pride ourselves on the quality and specialised knowledge of our booksellers. Our staff’s collective decades of bookselling experience, diverse tastes and deep love of reading means that we are able to provide our customers with individualised service and a unique range of titles. Lonely Planet has acknowledged our commitment to readers, writers and the local community by naming us there “favourite Sydney Bookshop.” Pop by the store next time you’re in Newtown and find out why.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions. UTS Library supports the University through its resources, spaces and distinct services that promote engagement and collaboration. The Library Retrieval System (LRS) is an automated storage and retrieval facility underneath the heart of the campus – is the largest facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The LRS is at the heart of the campus and below what will be an exciting new Library experience opening in 2020.

The Digital Humanities Summer Institute provides an ideal environment for discussing and learning about new computing technologies and how they are influencing teaching, research, dissemination, creation, and preservation in different disciplines, via a community-based approach. A time of intensive coursework, seminars, and lectures, participants at DHSI share ideas and methods, and develop expertise in using advanced technologies. Every summer, the institute brings together faculty, staff, and students from the Arts, Humanities, Library, and Archives communities as well as independent scholars and participants from areas beyond. Described by one participant as an event that “combines the best aspects of a skills workshop, international conference, and summer camp,” the DHSI prides itself on its friendly, informal, and collegial atmosphere. We invite you to join the DHSI community in Victoria for a time of focused practice, learning, and connecting with (and making new) friends and colleagues.

The University of Otago Centre for the Book supports activities to explore how print works in the world.  We sponsor annual printer-in-residence projects, World Book Day lectures and research symposia. Every fourth year the Centre hosts the Australasian Rare Book School in Dunedin.  Any scholars with an interests in print culture are encouraged to contact the Centre if they should find themselves in New Zealand and would like to address a congenial and informed audience. For more information on our activities and to subscribe to our blog, see:

From First to Last Texts, Creators, Readers, Agents