CFP: [Bibliography] 'Evidence of Reading, Reading the Evidence' (21-23 July 2008; London)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Shafquat Towheed
contact email: 

A major international conference to be held at the Institute of English
Studies, University of London
 21-23 July 2008
Organised by the Open University and the Institute of English Studies
Confirmed speakers: Kate Flint, Jonathan Rose, David Vincent, Helen Small,
Naomi Tadmor

Studies centred on the history of reading have proliferated in the last
twenty years. They have sprung from several different disciplines,
encompassed different periods and geographical locations and chosen
divergent methodologies, but their common quest has been to recover and
understand the traces of a practice which is central to our understanding
of human history, yet notoriously elusive.
One such approach is ‘The Reading Experience Database 1450-1945’ (RED), a
project run by the Open University and the University of London. While RED
is already proving its worth as a digital resource, its methodological
parameters are necessarily limited and its vision therefore partial. What
is needed in order for the study of the history of reading to progress
beyond the boundaries of specific institutions, disciplines,
methodologies, geographical locations and time periods is a forum in which
as many diverse approaches as possible are brought into energetic debate.
This major 3-day conference, the first of its type, seeks to provide such
a forum. We invite 20-minute papers from international students and
scholars of any discipline - both within and outside the Humanities â€" who
are interested in the history and practice of reading in any period or
geographical location. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

● Theories of reading
● National and transnational histories
● Reading and readers in fiction
● Genre reading
● Visual representations of reading
● Reading across disciplines/languages
● Quantitative versus qualitative methodologies
● Digital resources and their development
● Using historical data in contemporary research fields
● Reading communities
● The sociology, psychology and neurology of reading experiences
● Issues of literacy
● Evidence of reading from private audio recordings and blogs
● Finding, compiling, interpreting and preserving the evidence of reading

Paper titles, abstracts of no more than 300 words and short biographies
should be sent electronically by 31 January 2008 to all three organisers:
Dr Shaf Towheed (; Dr Rosalind Crone
(; Dr Katie Halsey (

Thanks to the generosity of THE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, we are able to
offer up to five bursaries to enable students to attend the Evidence of
Reading, Reading the Evidence conference. These bursaries are open to
anyone registered on an undergraduate or postgraduate course in any
discipline relevant to readership studies, and in any country. The
bursaries will cover the cost of registration for the three-day
conference. An application form is available on the RED website, at

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Received on Thu Nov 15 2007 - 21:18:27 EST