Reading Then and Now

The University of Virginia Department of English Graduate Conference

April 4-6, 2014

Keynote speech by Andrew Piper

Master class with Rita Felski and Andrew Piper

From Socrates to Tina Brown, cultural critics have been lining up to bury the book for millennia. Yet, in spite of the predictions of the Greeks, the early printers, and more recent heralds, literature just won't die. One sign? A survey of recent titles from the U. of Chicago press offers 1,680 books with "reading" in their description. Another? The insistent textual qualities of even the most recent social media. Persisting through one technological revolution after another and despite cultural sea changes, reading continues to evolve, to inform, and to sustain modern cultures.

The University of Virginia Department of English invites graduate student proposals for conference papers that think through issues related to reading practices. This call seeks presenters interested in questions of book history, the phenomenology of reading, and the digital turn. Papers may focalize literary or cultural texts from any period and may engage in conversations with such subjects as: