Aarhus Universitets segl

The Digital Reading Condition Seminar

On February 11th 2021, The Reading Between Media Group at Aarhus University held a one-day online seminar on the subject "the digital reading condition". The seminar proposed an interdisciplinary introduction to digital reading practices, and initiated the writing process of the upcoming volume The Digital Reading Condition to be published in 2022.

The Reading Between Media group have invited five distinguished scholars in the field to contribute to the book: Susanna Tosca, Nikolaj Elf, Jay Bolter, Lutz Koepnick and Lori Emerson. All contributors presented their approach to the subject in five keynote lectures at this seminar.

In the video below, you can watch the full seminar. The programme shows the time for the beginning of each keynote lecture.

The theme of the seminar

The seminar proposed interdisciplinary perspectives on digital reading practices and the scholarly efforts to analyse and understand reading in the current media landscape. What does it mean to read digitally today? How does what we call the digital reading condition encourage us to read in new ways? What are some of the key reading practices that have emerged after the first three decades of the world wide web, amidst an increasing number of digital devices and an incessant digitally mediated information flow?

To fully understand what the current digital reading condition entails, the upcoming book argues that the act of reading itself is changing. Rather than rejecting digital media as not suitable for sustained or focused reading practices, the complex media landscape that includes all kinds of media forms and remediated practices - including reading - challenges us to rethink how to define reading as a mediated practice. Also, the digital reading condition foregrounds the importance of understanding how senses are explicitly invoked while reading digital material that often include images, sounds, movement and interactive elements in addition to text.



Welcome and introduction from Reading Between Media


Keynote 1: Reading Transmedia

Susanna Tosca, D.Phil., Associate Professor at Roskilde University, Department of Communication and Arts.


Keynote 2: The Qualities of Digital Reading in Education: A Case of Inquiry-based Literature Teaching

Nikolaj Elf, Ph.D., Professor at University of Southern Denmark, Department for the Study of Culture.


Introduction II


Keynote 3: Writing Spaces - Reading and Writing in Digital Media

Jay Bolter, Ph.D., Professor of Digital Media at Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Literature, Media and Communication.


Keynote 4: Resonance and the Digital Conditions of Reading

Lutz Koepnick, Ph.D., Professor of Cinema and Media Arts at Vanderbilt University, Department of German, Russian and East-European Studies.


Keynote 5: Reading Future Histories of the Internet

Lori Emerson, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Colorado at Boulder, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of English.