The International Conference on the Book will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Bill Bell John Man
Gobinda Chowdhury Alistair McCleery
Lorraine Fannin Martyn Wade
Michael Fraser John W. Warren

Garden Conversations

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

Bill Bell

Bill Bell

Bill Bell is Director of the Centre for the History of the Book at The University of Edinburgh where he teaches in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. He specialises in Nineteenth Century literature and culture and has written extensively on the sociology of the text, the history of the book, and theories of cultural production. He has held visiting posts at The Australian National University, The University of Ottawa, and St John’s College, Oxford.

He was for several years a member of the editorial team of the Duke-Edinburgh edition of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (vols 19-24) and is general editor of the Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, to be published in 4 volumes by Edinburgh University Press, of which he is also editor of volume 3, Industry and Ambition, 1800-1880. He is also Director of the Scottish Book Trade Archive Inventory database and Co-investigator on the AHRC-funded Correspondence Project.

He is a member of the Council of The Bibliographical Society, and has been a Board member of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) and the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP). He is on the Editorial Board of Palgrave Studies in the History of Media and on the advisory boards of several publications including the American annual Book History. He is currently completing a study of itinerant reading communities, entitled Crusoe’s Books: Journeys through the Textual Imagination.

Gobinda Chowdhury

Gobinda ChowdhuryGobinda Chowdhury is a Professor of Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Technology Sydney. Prof. Chowdhury’s research on information retrieval and digital libraries is recognised worldwide. His early research on task-based digital libraries and information access system has appeared in top-ranking journals and well reviewed books. His more recent research on critical evaluation of live digital libraries and information systems, funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council (in 2005), has also appeared in prestigious professional media. Two more recent research projects of Prof. Chowdhury (both funded by the UK Higher Education Academy in 2006 and 2007) looked into the current information access and management systems relevant to some specific subjects in various British universities. In his most recent large-scale research project called SHAMAN, funded by European Union under the Seventh Framework programme, Prof. Chowdhury has been responsible for user requirements analysis and evaluation of digital information management and preservation systems across a range of EU countries. Prof. Chowdhury has, over the years, successfully supervised a number of PhD students in areas related to information access and digital libraries. He has an extensive list of publications that includes 10 books and over 100 professional journals and conference papers. Worldwide recognition of Prof. Chowdhury is also evidenced by his editorial contributions to several major information science journals and conferences including Journal of Documentation, Online Information Review, Library Review, World Digital Libraries, JCDL, SIGIR, ICADL, ISKO, and so on. Prof. Chowdhury is one of the founder members of the newly formed Consortium of i-Schools in Asia and the Pacific (CiSAP). He is also a Fellow member of CILIP, UK.

Lorraine Fannin

Lorraine FanninLorraine was Director of the Scottish Publishers Association and CEO of its successor organisation, Publishing Scotland from 1987 – 2008. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland and of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature. She was formerly a member of the British Council Publishers Advisory Committee, the Publishing Qualifications Board and the Institute of Publishing Advisory Board.

Michael Fraser

Michael FraserProfessor Fraser is a Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and Director of the Communications Law Centre, UTS. He was CEO of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) for twenty-one years, and a founding director of Australian, foreign and international copyright management companies and organisations. He is influential in changing policy and practice in Australia and internationally, to develop copyright and commerce for creators and the content industries, as well as media and communications policy in the public interest. He has changed attitudes about access to content and copyright, and provided commercial returns for rights owners as well as social and cultural benefits for stakeholders. He has created new markets that provide consumers access to creative content with copyright management. He has extensive knowledge and experience in digital media and is a noted figure in Australia and overseas for his constructive role among key decision makers in envisioning and building the knowledge economy. He established and led a not-for-profit copyright management company CAL from start up to achieve annual revenues of over $120m. CAL attracted over 500,000 members and 20,000 customers in the education, government and corporate sectors. During the period of his leadership, CAL made total payments of over $500 million to copyright owner members for new uses of their creative works.

Professor Fraser has pioneered and implemented new digital content delivery, e-commerce business models and value adding virtual supply chains for content and rights.

He is a leader in developing international norms and systems for management of rights across borders. He initiated a system for cross-border exchanges of rights, licence payments and rights information which now manages cross border payments of over US $1.5 Billion a year.

Professor Fraser is a frequent contributor to government policy formulation and reviews in Australia and internationally and speaks regularly at national and international conferences and seminars.

John Man
John Man is a British historian and travel writer with a special interest in Mongolia. His books include Genghis Khan, Alpha Beta, Gutenberg, and Attila: The Barbarian King Who Challenged Rome.

Alistair McCleery
Alistair McCleery
Professor Alistair McCleery, Professor of Literature and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University, is Director of the Scottish Centre for the Book. The Centre was established in 1995 and acts as a focus for research and knowledge transfer in publishing, the material book and print culture. Professor McCleery and his team undertake a range of commissioned research on the social and economic aspects of the publishing industry and on the creative industries in general.

Professor McCleery has published much work on the history of the Scottish book trade as well as on its contemporary prospects. He was jointly responsible for the 2004 Scottish Arts Council report on The Strategic Future of Scottish Publishing. Professor McCleery is the author of some 70 refereed articles and book chapters. Past publications include The Book (2001), the first CD on book history, and The War Poets at Craiglockhart, a website devoted to Owen, Sassoon and their meeting at Craiglockhart Hospital. He is co-author with David Finkelstein of An Introduction to Book History (Routledge 2005) and co-editor of The Book History Reader (Routledge, second edition 2006). He is co-editor and contributor to The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland Vol 4 1880-2000 (EUP 2007). His most recent books include In Search of a Hero: Looking for Allen Lane (PCS 2006), an edition of Neil Gunn’s essays Landscape to Light (Whittles 2009), and the co-edited SAPPHIRE publication An Honest Trade (Birlinn 2009). He gave the annual COLICO lecture in Belfast in April 2009 on ‘Small Nation Publishing’.

Martyn Wade
Martyn WadeMartyn Wade joined the National Library of Scotland (NLS) as National Librarian 2002, after 25 years experience in the public library sector. During this time he worked in a number of rural and urban local authorities, including London Borough of Sutton, Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire, and was formerly Head of Libraries, Information and Learning with Glasgow City Council. Throughout his career he has taken a particular interest in developing integrated customer and citizen focused services.

Under his leadership NLS has developed a reputation for innovative developments aimed at widening access to the Library’s collections, expertise and services. In particular, the Library is exploring the use of partnerships and technology to support research at all levels, whilst enabling new audiences to enjoy, learn and benefit from the Library’s rich and unique resources.

Martyn has a wide range of professional interests. He is a member of the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel, which advises the United Kingdom government on legal deposit issues, as well as a member of the Joint Committee on Legal Deposit. He is a Council Member of Lifelong Learning UK which supports the training of the lifelong learning workforce across the United Kingdom. Martyn is also a member of the Scottish Library and Information Council, Vice Chair of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and a member of the Board of the Scottish Poetry Library.

John W. Warren
 John W. Warren
John W. Warren is Director of Marketing, Publications, at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institute that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. John has nearly two decades of experience in the publishing industry, with special focus on marketing and digital publishing. Previously, John managed marketing efforts for Mexican publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica, Sage Publications, and Sylvan Learning, Inc., and has provided consulting services to firms seeking to expand business in Mexico and South America. He has presented at major publishing conferences in the United States and internationally. He has a Masters in International Management from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at the University of California, San Diego.

John is the winner of the Common Ground International Award for Excellence in the area of the Book.