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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Graphospheres Symposium, 25–26 April 2024

Graphospheres is a celebration in honour of Simon Franklin, Emeritus Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge. It flows from his most recent book, The Russian Graphosphere, 1450–1850 (Cambridge, 2019), and aims not only to recognise Simon’s scholarship, but also to prompt wide-ranging discussions around the graphosphere as the space of the visible word. The symposium brings together a distinguished group of international scholars to discuss information technologies from the pre-modern to the present.

Thursday evening will feature Simon Franklin in conversation with Nancy Condee, accompanied by a drinks reception and exhibition of Slavonic manuscripts and other materials at the Wren Library. The presentations on Friday will then explore the conceptual reach of the graphosphere, prompting dialogues among specialists working on the Slavonic world and beyond.

Invited speakers include Greg Afinogenov, Simon Dixon, Michael Flier, Ines Garcia de la Puente, Aleksei Gippius, Sergei Ivanov, Mirela Ivanova, Iulia Khod’ko, Valerie Kivelson, Nancy Kollman, Andrei Kostin, Stephan Lovell, Natalia Mazur, Ben Peters, Kevin Platt, Orietta da Rold, Iuliia Shustova, Alison Smith, Oleksiy Tolochko, Tetiana Vilkul, and Alex Walsham.

Standard registration is £40 and includes the reception, discussion and exhibition on Thursday evening, alongside lunch and refreshments at the symposium on Friday. Reduced registration of £20 is available for students, and for early-career and unwaged scholars.

Details of registration can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Emma Widdis (, Susan Larsen ( or Angus Russell (