How We Read: Essays on the History, Practise, and Future of Reading
Reading has for long been considered a cornerstone of Western civilization. Over the past decades, however, the conditions of both reading and writing have undeniably changed. A wide range of new technologies have reshaped almost every aspect of our lives, thereby changing our everyday behavior–from how we shop and communicate to the way we process information and engage with both literary and nonliterary texts. The effects of this increasingly technologized, fast-paced, and hyper-stimulating environment on the human mind have variously been assessed by scholars in psychology, media theory, sociology, or philosophy. Today there is little doubt that it also affected the way we read and, by implication, how we think and what kind of solutions we imagine in response to pressing social, economic, and political issues. In a time of surging populisms and a distrust in established news media (ours!), it is crucial to investigate the different modes of reading as they have evolved and changed over time and to explore new ways of textual engagement that emphasize the ethical, transformative, ecological, and affective dimensions of the lived experience of reading.
The new series »How We Read« will bring into conversation leading scholars from literature, media, history, philosophy, the visual arts, and cognitive science to discuss reading as both a cultural practice and an invaluable cognitive and emotional human experience.