Reading Matters is a collaborative project co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University and the Program in Critical Theory Department at the UC Berkeley. The series is co-organized by Zulaikha Ayub, Daniela Gandorfer, and Mari Jarris. Learn more about the organizers HERE.

Reading Matters calls on an interdisciplinary group of distinguished scholars to respond to contemporary political problems in their many social, textual, material, and embodied manifestations by considering reading as a collaborative, engaged and generative practice. In reflecting on why and how reading matters, participants will consider the influence of new media and the digital humanities on reading, and the viable encounters between the humanities, the creative and applied arts, and the natural sciences. Articulating and performing a mode of reading that responds to the challenges of the present has been a constant endeavor not only in literary studies, but in all academic disciplines. Technological and scientific developments require us to constantly reflect on what it means to read and make sense of texts and events as conveyed through various mediatic forms, across disparate global contexts. A crucial aspect of this is accounting for their various historical, political and cultural specificities.

The series consists of a workshop in UC Berkeley (September 2018), a conference and film screening in Princeton University (November 29-December 1, 2018), and a forthcoming publication in 2019. The public conference at Princeton is an invitation to leading scholars from a range of disciplines to reflect upon the concept of Reading Matters in and through their own divergent practices and scholarship.



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