CFP: Culture of Reading (10/21/05, PCA/ACA, 4/12/06-4/15/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Susan Hays Bussey
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS: Culture of Reading, past and present

 APPROVED PANEL IN THE LITERATURE & SOCIETY SECTION and possible collection of essays for publication



PCA/ACA ANNUAL MEETING, April 12th-15th, 2006



DEADLINE: OCT 21, 2005.


In the epilogue to her 2002 book "Forgotten Readers," Elizabeth McHenry
draws connections between the African American literary societies of the
Nineteenth Century and Oprah's Book Club. She writes, "The [latter] book
club's success is indicative of the extent to which texts, even if read
in solitude, elicit in their readers responses that demand a forum for
sharing." The statement is at once obvious and unconvincing. In today's
book marketplace, who demands what, and vice versa?

This panel hopes to combine very different fields of historical literary
culture and popular culture studies. Can their common ground uncover an
evolution/commonality with political, psychological, and/or economic
implications? We are interested in papers that address some specific
historical reading groups and literary societies, but also hope to have
contributions that give some cultural analysis of current trends in
reading groups, or "book clubs." Possibly of interest: reading
communities as arbiters of taste, increasing professionalization* and
commericialization of reading, community-sponsored reading.

*("professionalization" meaning the movement for groups to seek a higher
level of structure and a depth of consideration beyond the means of an
adhoc collection of social acquaintances.)

Send 300-500 word abstracts by 10/21/05. All submissions will also be considered for possible volume of collected essays on same.


Susan Hays Bussey

Department of English

Wake Forest University

(336)758-5387 <>


The 2006 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association

National Meeting will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, in

Atlanta, Georgia, 265 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, GA 30303;

Phone:1-404-521-0000. Wednesday, April 12th to Sunday, April 15th,


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Received on Sun Sep 18 2005 - 13:10:30 EDT