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Reading: four short talks and audience discussion

05 Dec 2012

On Thursday 13 December 2012 (5pm) in Seminar Room, John Rylands Library, Deansgate (meet in the café by reception before 5pm).

What do you imagine when you read? Do you read to feel happy, safe, reassured?

Reading is both an intimate and public activity, we read alone but might be reading the same text as millions of other people. It is sometimes seen as geeky or boring but it is often the first thing that gets restricted under totalitarian regimes.

Books transmit ideas and reading forbidden literature (however boring) will always be radical. We can think about how technology has shaped our reading practices as well – the internet has revolutionised publishing and changed how censorship works – the Nazis were able to burn books but it is much harder to shut down the web.

It isn’t just totalitarian regimes that ban books either, we can map societal change in the UK through the publication of previously prohibited literature – like Lady Chatterley’s Lover – and we can see how far we’ve come with 50 Shades of Grey topping the bestseller lists.

To find out more, come along to our very informal seminar, four short talks and audience discussion about the many faces of ‘reading’ featuring:

  • Jenna Carine Ashton – Visualising reading (Rachel Whiteread’s ‘Storytime’)
  • Sophie Preston, Wendy Ligon Smith - Reading along with Proust (A personal account of reading Proust)
  • Rosy Rickett/Steven Leech – “I mostly read on the toilet” (An informal survey of over 30 people’s reading habits)
  • Gary Butler – The Rylands and its readers – after Borges (Readers’ tickets at John Rylands, Deansgate)

The event will be recorded. It will last about an hour and afterwards we shall retire to the pub for a drink. 


Places are limited, so if you would like to attend: