On 27 February, 6th International scientific conference “Book in the Contemporary World: Issues of Reception” opened in Voronezh State University. Among its participants were scholars from Voronezh, Kazan, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Tambov, Tomsk, Belarus, and Serbia. The event was dedicated to the university’s centenary. It is celebrated this year and is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.
The participants of the conference discussed a number of topics. For example, reception of the book as an integral structure united by textual, design, and constructive solution; book as a medium: reception of historical forms and types of the book in the framework of contemporary communication; phenomenology of the perception of the book as a material object: background and prospects of perception, and others.
VSU Rector Dmitry Endovitsky addressed the audience with words of welcome:
‘I have recently had meetings with the heads of the Moscow publishing houses “Prospekt” and “Eksmo”. We talked about books. Whether they will remain as a phenomenon or will they be superseded by the Internet. It appears that the interest in books has grown in recent years. The publishers deny competing interests between electronic versions, the Internet, and paperbacks. The Internet is a marketing instrument which allows people to discover the most interesting books and it decreases the risk of unsuccessful projects. Although I regularly use different gadgets, it is always very nice to hold a good book in your hands. I am sure that the young generation will act wisely when choosing between a tablet or desk computer and a book and will reject neither of them.’
‘Our conference has introduced new forms of educational activities. We have held public lectures presented by our guests – an active member of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and a professor from Belgrad University. The three days of the conference were filled with research reports – this does not happen very often. It is always very difficult to gather guests from different cities and countries but the organisers did a wonderful job,’ said the Dean of the Faculty of Philology professor Olga Berdnikova.
Her speech was followed by a report by Alexander Lukashanets “Belorussian Printed Books within the Eastern-Slavic Cultural Area (dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Belorussian book-printing).
As a part of the conference the Rector signed a cooperation agreement between the Centre for Belarus culture, language, and literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and Voronezh State University. The agreement sets forth the terms of collaboration in science, including participation in joint national and international projects, and internships in subdivisions of the parties.