There is power in reading. It has only been in recent decades that the new field of study, the history of reading, has emerged. There is now enough research to create a broad narrative history of reading, especially the patterns of ordinary reading (as opposed to academic reading). And this story has a central theme: that reading has been and can be the most fundamental expression of human freedom, even in repressive societies. In this session, participants will explore the significance of the documentation of what is being read and who is reading which texts.
William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University
Jonathan Rose is a William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University and founding president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing. Author of several books and publications, he won the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize, the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, and the NJCH Book Prize for his book “The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes.”
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