Tuesday, March 18, 2008


[this via the LRS]
Newcastle University, 10-12 April 2008

Keynote Speakers:
Jason Scott-Warren (Cambridge)
Cathy Shrank (Sheffield)
Daniel Wakelin (Cambridge)

The history of reading has experienced an explosive growth in recent
years. Scholars of early modern England have been at the forefront of
research in this area, and studies of the reading practices of a number
of notable figures, inlcuding Gabriel Harvey, John Dee, Ben Jonson and
Sir William Drake, have appeared over the last fifteen years. Historians
have gleaned from notebooks and marginalia a model of information or
turns of phrase and applied to the life or writings of the reader or
their patron. Such work has offerned many important insights, but it has
perhaps also narrowed our understanding of the practice of reading and
its social and political import. It does not give us a model that is
flexible enough to explain the relationship between reading and the
development of 'literary' form, nor does it recognise the diverse
practical, political and social interests which reading may have served.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to extend and complicate our
understanding of early modern readers and reading practice, including
the conversations - or indeed quarrels - which follow particular texts;
the act of reading itself as dialogic; readings that 'go against the
grain'; the sense of literary writings as acts of reading; reading as
information gathering and the organization of knowledge; and textual
exchange as a form of association, or negotiation, between individuals,
communities, and cultures.

To view the programme or to register for the conference, please visit
the website:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/niassh/EarlyModernResearchGroup/conference.htm. For
further questions, contact Fred Schurink (fred.schurink@ncl.ac.uk) or
Jennifer Richards (jennifer.richards@ncl.ac.uk).


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