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Re: [BKARTS] Book Arts Conference, New Haven, CT April 2007 Update/the use of the word "Influence"

Dear Jae
I am fascinated to read about the topic for your final session and would like to ask if there is a way to access the conference papers on-line. I am in Australia and would love to attend but will be unable to do so. My particular interest is in this last session and I would be grateful for any discussion about this topic. In 2005 I completed a Masters in Editing and Publishing. My topic was "A Study of Moorish Influence on contemporary book production." Although I outlined the history of the book in Europe, I specifically looked at book cover design. I considered over 600 book covers in detail, developing a table to analyse the books that included measuring them, describing the most prominent design features, colours, paper type, binding type etc. I found that about 10% displayed features that I had categorized as coming from Moorish art/design..Now I know this is problematic and I outlined the difficulties in choosing categories but after much reading and research in Moorish architecture and design I chose very basic design features such as the horseshoe arch, the arabesque, vegetal motifs, bird and vine theme, the Flying Carpet theme, geometric patterns, the Islamic garden, minarets and domes, the Prince and gift giving, the ribhat, etc. ...this thesis caused an uproar in my dept. and in several other depts. because of the use of the word influence and it was returned to me with the comment that I couldn't have possibly proven "influence" but only similarities. I had to change every mention of influence and reword it as 'similarities' before resubmitting it, even though I had followed the trail of this art and decorative features through the early 19th century artists such as William Morris and Escher who were clearly in awe of Spanish/Moorish art...I was told that "influence" had to be proven by showing how each development impacted specifically on the next.
So many book covers show evidence of these Moorish features and designs, whether through remnants of Orientalism or clear lines of artistic development through decorative arts into graphic arts. I would love to discuss this further with anyone interested and would particularly like to read papers on how to use this word "Influence" if anyone has access to them.
Thanks for this interesting post.
Jessica Syme


The Bonefolder, Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 2006 Now Online at
Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Online - Catalog Available
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