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RMA Thematic course: ‘Cultures of Reading’

Since the early modern period, reading has been essential for the transmission of ideas, but it is also a vital skill for the cultural historian. Reading is not a stable form of communication. It may be done in many different ways, depending on a host of historical, social, and religious contexts. In the past three decades the ‘History of Reading’ has become a vibrant scholarly field, exploring both historical practices as well as our own as researchers of earlier periods in history. Historians have developed challenging new approaches, highlighting a diversity of reading styles and at least as great a variety of research opportunities. New digital resources have vastly increased our access to relevant evidence.

This course serves as an introduction to the cultural history of reading. In a series of lectures and seminars, the phenomenon of reading cultures is studied from a variety of different historical and disciplinary perspectives by academics from across the field of cultural history in the Netherlands. The lectures and seminars that constitute the core of this course will be complemented by a working visit to the Special Collections at Amsterdam.

Course dates 

  • Friday 26 April 2024, 12:00-15:00, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 2-3, room 220
  • Friday 3 May 2024, 12:00-15:00, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 2-3, room 220
  • Friday 17 May 2024, 12:00-15:00, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 2-3, room 220 (break out room: JK 2-3, room 219)
  • Friday 24 May 2024, 12:00-15:00, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 2-3, room 220
  • Friday 31 May 2024, 12:00-15:00, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 2-3, room 220
  • Friday 7 June 2024, 12:00-15:00: Allard Pierson, Special Collections, Reading Room, Oude Turfmarkt 129, Amsterdam [note: different location]

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