Select Page

RMa Course – Cultures of reading

Date: April 29, May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17 2016
Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Venue: University of Amsterdam, May 20 Leiden (Bibliotheca Thysiana), June 3 Utrecht (Bucheliuszaal, De Uithof)
Open to: RMa Students, who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). RMa Students who are members of the Huizinga Institute will have first access; PhD candidates can attend as auditor (limited number)
Fee (non members): € 150
Credits: 5 ECTS
Coordinator: Arnoud Visser (UU) and Ton Hoenselaars (UU)

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 such as Robert Darnton, Carlo Ginzburg, Roger Chartier, Anthony Grafton, and William Sherman have developed challenging new approaches, highlighting a diversity of reading styles and at least as great a variety of research opportunities.

This course serves as an introduction to the cultural history of reading. In a series of lectures and seminars spanning an 8-week period, 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, assisted by guest speakers from abroad.

The lectures and seminars that constitute the core of this course will be complemented by working visits to special collections of books in the Netherlands and Flanders.