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The Making of a Reader: The Politics of Print and Electronic Culture in the Americas

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Organizer: Jose Chavarry

Co-Organizer: Luis Henao

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How are individuals shaped by what they read? Can reading be an act of transgression and resistance? In this seminar, we want to look beyond the book as a vehicle of representation and the reader as its passive recipient, and instead approach both from a material perspective, considering how forces such as the State or the market determine what kind of texts are published and to whom they are directed. We aim to study the multiple possible interactions between the book as technology, and the reader as its operator, in the circulation of texts through territories and times, the acceptance or challenging of values tied to a specific book, or the production of different logics of interpretation of a given text.
 
To do so, we propose a discussion about the relationship between the materiality of the book, the practice of reading and the social spaces where meaning is generated and negotiated. For example, we invite papers that examine issues such as reading in the context of attention economies; new forms of reading; the conditions of access to the book; how the circulation of a book might be tied to public imaginaries of social identities; how a book might become the tool or weapon of a particular cause, whether it was meant to or not; or the impact of new textual materialities on communities of readers. 
 
Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:
 

Reading as practice
Attentional economies 
History and impact of printing presses, publishers and book collections
Textual materialism; the book as an object
Reprints/revisions and canonicity
Literacy and schooling campaigns
Reading communities
Zines /ebooks and new technologies

 
Please submit abstracts through the official ACLA portal.  Papers may be in English, Spanish or Portuguese.

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