Date(s) - 03/12/2020
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Nick Mason, Professor of English, will present for the Humanities Center’s weekly colloquium on Thursday, March 12th. The presentation will be held at 3:00 PM in room 4010 JFSB. More details forthcoming.
Title: “Reception Studies and the Digital Archive: What We Do, Don’t, and May Never Know about the History of Reading”
Amid the broader turn to exploring archival sources and the experiences of the “common reader,” scholars in the humanities have become newly confident in their ability to reconstruct early audiences’ responses to Mozart’s operas, Van Gogh’s landscapes, or Woolf’s novels. The pursuit of such great white whales has only redoubled with the ongoing wave of newly digitized journals, letters, and reviews. As I set out on such a (possibly quixotic) quest of my own—a new book project chronicling how early 19th-century British literary periodicals were accessed, read, and received—this colloquium will provide occasion both to share my own hopes and misgivings about such undertakings and hear colleagues’ perspectives on our current capacities for credibly and representatively mapping historical reception.