Some thoughts on the European Reading Experience Database by Gustavo Gomez-Mejia

It has been a month since the P-RECIHC network had its first plenary meeting in Le Mans. With the scope of building an European Reading Experience Database (EURED), our three-day sessions raised fundamental research questions. What else could happen when you gather five working groups of scholars from all around Europe in order to shape a digital treasure? As we conceptualise centuries of reading experiences from the standpoint of Literature, History or Communication studies -just to name a few disciplines-, the standardised requirements of data collection bring to the forefront very significant dimensions of such experiences. How do we describe the diverse cultural backgrounds of reading practices throughout the history of Europe? To which extent can we go beyond archetypal book readers and take into account the realm of signs that we read in public spaces or on contemporary screens? Do we need a « metaphor » field for practices such as « skimming » and their linguistic variations? The list of questions raised by EURED goes on in a Borgesian manner, opening a wide range of perspectives for studying the social life of literacies.

Gustavo Gomez-Mejia, Université François Rabelais (CITERES, Tours)


Une réflexion au sujet de « Some thoughts on the European Reading Experience Database by Gustavo Gomez-Mejia »

  1. Gustavo, you raise some really important and interesting questions here – especially about the level or depth of a reader’s engagement with a text or texts. I think you are right: we do need to access the metaphors of reading – skimming, glancing, browsing, looking – and not just ‘deep reading’ that we as scholars and researchers are so used to doing. There is no one commonly agreed conceptual frame for what precisely constitutes a ‘reading experience’ – sometimes even text is processed by the brain visually and semiotically, and not ‘read’ as it were. Thanks for your comments! Shaf

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