Appel à contribution : « The World of Printed Prayers », Galway, University of Galway, 26-27 janvier 2023, date limite le 17 octobre 2022

Since its invention, print has been harnessed to promote piety, to proselytize, and to spread both orthodox and unorthodox beliefs. This conference will explore the multifaceted use of printed devotional objects from the earliest days of replicating text and image using printing techniques through the end of the nineteenth century. This conference is particularly concerned with the production, dissemination, and engagement with cheap printed prayers from all faiths, denominations, and religious traditions around the world. In particular, speakers are asked to explore relatively brief prayer texts that appear in in the form of short-printed pamphlets, chapbooks, micro-chapbooks, broadsides, flyers, posters, images with captions, saint cards (such as santini), etc. Such texts may include: short prayers, longer prayer texts, intercessory prayers, legends and litanies of saints, virtual pilgrimages, songs, catechisms, etc. Whether they were sold in bookshops, peddled by street-sellers, presented by a mountebank as part of a religious cure, sold as pilgrimage souvenirs, passed out on holy days, or distributed by official authorities, these printed objects had the potential to reach wide audiences. With texts often accompanied by images, these objects also appeal to a range of devotees of different ages, socio-economic classes, and literacy levels.

We invite papers that explore the use of print in the dissemination of prayer texts from any time, place, and faith up until 1900. Please submit 150-word bios and abstracts for traditional 20-minute conference papers (200 word abstract) or 10-minute case studies (100 word abstract) that engage with, but are not limited to, any of the following themes:


  • Authorship
  • Printing & Printers
  • Methods of printing
  • Official vs. clandestine production
  • Illustrations (woodcuts, engravings, etchings, lithographs, etc.


  • Links to oral and manuscript traditions
  • Poetry or prose
  • Popular prayer texts
  • Figures
  • Themes
  • The use of the vernacular


  • How were they distributed? By whom?
  • Spreading of orthodox or unorthodox beliefs
  • Policing of printed prayers
  • Translation and transmission
  • Intended vs. actual audience


  • Multimodal and sensory engagement with printed prayers
  • Agency of the printed object
  • The role of literacy
  • Text & Image Interactions
  • Role in devotional practices


  • Ephemerality
  • Collection history
  • Bibliographic analysis

Please submit your brief bios, paper titles, and abstracts to Dr Katherine Tycz (University of Galway) at by midnight (Irish Standard Time) October 17, 2022.

The World of Printed Prayers conference is hosted by Dr. Katherine Tycz, Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in Italian Studies. Dr. Tycz is based at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies and is affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Religion (CSR) at the University of Galway.


Florence Larcher

Florence Larcher est doctorante à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches sur les images de saint Roch en Italie de 1350 à 1680 l'amènent à étudier la peinture murale, la sérialité et l'itinérance des peintres.

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