Call For Papers

Strange Reading – Download Poster

Reading is a strange thing to do. We are often so invested in
reading, particularly in academia, that we pay little
attention to how reading works and the wide range of practices
“reading” embraces. Estranging us from our immediate
surroundings and everyday lives, reading can at the same time
bring us into newly imagined spaces and unfamiliar
relations—whether with fictional characters, critical
debates, or fellow readers (who usually remain complete
strangers). Critics often show us new ways (and things) to
read, but their readings can risk becoming settled and
familiar—or remaining cut off from other kinds of reading.

With the impact of new media, expanded archives, and questions
about the future of scholarly publishing, it is an especially
good time to take a step back from reading—both in terms of
our methods of analysis and objects of study—so as to render
familiar and unfamiliar texts newly rich and strange. From
foundational books which change how we read (Clarissa and
Orientalism, Alice in Wonderland and Gender Trouble); to texts
which acquire new audiences and new interpretations (across
centuries and continents, lines of gender, age, race, class);
through to approaches that draw attention to the very
strangeness of “reading” and “readers” themselves—Strange
Reading aims to be a site for dynamic, interdisciplinary
discussion across a range of topics, strange and familiar.

Please submit abstracts of 250-350 words as Microsoft Word
email attachments to by April 21, 2008.

Familiar approaches and entry points include:

• Material Reading: Reception and Publishing History, Textual
Studies, History of the Book, New Audience Studies, The Book
as Object, The Sociology of Reading, Reading and the Body

• Theoretical Reading: The Legacies of Russian Formalism, Queer
Theories of Reading, The Phenomenology of Reading, Cognitive
Approaches to Reading, New Historicism, Deconstruction, and
New Formalism

• Reading across the Disciplines: Reading in Cinema Studies,
Reading and Philosophy, Reading Music

• Reading Sites: Marginalia, Commonplace Books, Anthologies,
Periodicals, Children’s Literature, Online Reading

• Reading Spaces: Transatlantic, Hemispheric, and Global Contexts