CFP: [Graduate] Strange Reading: Practice, Audience, Theory - The University of Chicago

full name / name of organization: 
Darrel Chia
contact email: 

The University of Chicago
Department of English Language and Literature
Third Annual Graduate Conference
October 10-11, 2008

Call for Papers

Strange Reading
Practice, Audience, Theory

Reading is a strange thing to do. We are often so invested in reading, particularly in academia,
that we pay little attention to how reading works and the wide range of practices “reading”
embraces. Estranging us from our immediate surroundings and everyday lives, reading can at the
same time bring us into newly imagined spaces and unfamiliar relationsâ€"whether with fictional
characters, critical debates, or fellow readers (who usually remain complete strangers). Critics
often show us new ways (and things) to read, but their readings can risk becoming settled and
familiarâ€"or remaining cut off from other kinds of reading.

With the impact of new media, expanded archives, and questions about the future of scholarly
publishing, it is an especially good time to take a step back from readingâ€"both in terms of our
methods of analysis and objects of studyâ€"so as to render familiar and unfamiliar texts newly
rich and strange. From foundational books which change how we read (Clarissa and Orientalism,
Alice in Wonderland and Gender Trouble); to texts which acquire new audiences and new
interpretations (across centuries and continents, lines of gender, age, race, class); through to
approaches that draw attention to the very strangeness of “reading” and “readers” themselvesâ€"
Strange Reading aims to be a site for dynamic, interdisciplinary discussion across a range of
topics, strange and familiar.

Please submit abstracts of 250-350 words as Microsoft Word email attachments to by April 7, 2008.

Familiar approaches and entry points include:

• Material Reading: Reception and Publishing History, Textual Studies, History of the Book,
New Audience Studies, The Book as Object, The Sociology of Reading, Reading and the Body
• Theoretical Reading: The Legacies of Russian Formalism, Queer Theories of Reading, The
Phenomenology of Reading, Cognitive Approaches to Reading, New Historicism, Deconstruction,
and New Formalism
• Reading across the Disciplines: Reading in Cinema Studies, Reading and Philosophy, Reading
• Reading Sites: Marginalia, Commonplace Books, Anthologies, Periodicals, Children’s
Literature, Online Reading
• Reading Spaces: Transatlantic, Hemispheric, and Global Contexts

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Received on Tue Feb 19 2008 - 14:57:12 EST