First Call for Papers
Beyond the Book: Contemporary Cultures of Reading
A conference at the University of Birmingham, UK
1 & 2 September 2007
Keynote Speakers: 
Janice Radway (Duke University) & Elizabeth Long (Rice University)
Book groups, Lit Blogs, on-line bookstores, book festivals, reader magazines, ‘One Book, One Community,’ Reader’s Guides, ‘Richard & Judy’s Book Club,’ Book TV, ‘Canada Reads,’ the ‘Nancy Pearl Action Figure,’ ‘Tuesday Night Book Club,’… reading is hot!
This conference will explore the diverse formations, mediations, practices and representations of reading and readers in the contemporary moment.  Cultures of reading are dynamic and complex: they involve not only readers reading, but also multiple agencies including publishers, booksellers, broadcast networks, national, regional and municipal governments, and educational institutions.  The aim of the conference is to interrogate the relations among these agents and their investment in the meanings of reading. The study of readers and reading encourages, maybe demands, multi- and interdisciplinary analysis.  We therefore invite scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to consider the contemporary meanings and experiences of reading in any culture or location.  Selected papers will be included in an edited collection on contemporary cultures of reading/book cultures.
Possible topics for consideration:-
• Reading as a form of popular culture
• Books & reading as cultural events
• Investigating reading and reader response: methodological problems & strategies
• The production of readers and/or reading 
• Books/Reading and/in/through the mass media
• Reading spaces
• Reading together: shared reading
• Reading as a medium of/for social change
• Reading practices
• Reading and the state

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers (abstracts of 200-300 words) or complete three-person panel sessions (including abstracts for each paper) by 15 January 2007 to:  [log in to unmask], using “BTB proposal” as the subject line in your email. Proposals may also be sent to:
Beyond the Book Conference
Department of American & Canadian Studies
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT
Beyond the Book is a three-year collaborative interdisciplinary AHRC-funded research project investigating contemporary cultures of reading.  The transatlantic BTB team are: DeNel Rehberg Sedo (Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada), Danielle Fuller, Anouk Lang & Anna Burrells (University of Birmingham, UK).
Find out more about our research at:
DeNel Rehberg Sedo, PhD
Assistant Professor
Director, Atlantic Canada Comm. Issues Research Lab
Co-director, Beyond the Book research project
Halifax, NS b3m 2j6  Canada