CFP: [Bibliography] Discovering the Social in the History of Reading

full name / name of organization: 
Ann Abrams
contact email: 

Discovering the Social in the History of Reading

The History of Reading Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara
invites paper proposals for our 2009 winter conference, "Discovering the
Social in the History of Reading." The one-day conference will take place
on Friday, March 13, 2009 at UCSB. The keynote speakers will be Adrian
Johns (University of Chicago) and Elaine Treharne (Florida State

This interdisciplinary conference will provide a forum to explore the
following questions: How have relationships between readers and writers
defined and been defined by the social? What social factors have helped
construct new reading interfaces, from the manuscript codex to early modern
print to twentieth-century xerography? What initiatives have been employed
to increase the sociability of reading? How did biases against reading as
an anti-social practice develop? How might historical instances of
collective authoring and reading practices inform contemporary efforts to
address the problems of information credibility, authority, and privacy in
social computing? How can studying the history of reading inform the
versatility, efficiency, network functionality, and cultural value of
online reading?

We hope to include papers from a range of historical and disciplinary
contexts, and we plan to incorporate investigations of both digital and
material texts. Possible paper topics may include, but are not limited to,
the following: explicit historical attempts to socialize reading; the
history of group and community reading; methods of establishing trust and
credibility in reading environments; the relation of reading to social
praxis; technologies of information management.

Please send abstracts, 250-500 words in length, to Annie Abrams at by Friday, January 16, 2009. Please direct any
questions about the conference to this address.

The conference is supported by the University of California’s
Transliteracies Project and the History of Material Texts Research Focus

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Received on Thu Dec 11 2008 - 15:27:01 EST