The Many Selves of Reading: Professional, Personal, Common.

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


This paper will use the recurrence of rhetoric to suggest that our current dilemma as scholars of literature is, at least in part, composed by the absence of answers to the question not of how to read (the terrain of the older ‘method wars’) but of how to conceptualise reading and the reader. It will argue against the affirmation of the ‘personal,’ evaluative or ‘lay reader,’ and consider how to revivify the ‘common reader’ not as a sociological phenomenon but rather as a matter of the rhetorical precondition of genres.
Held atUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Literary Criticism; English Literature; Profession; Reading; Reading Histories