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)