OSL Seminar ‘How We Read: Interpretation, Relation, Mediation’

Groningen and Utrecht | 19 November 2021 (Groningen), 26 November (Utrecht), 3 December (Utrecht), 10 December (Groningen), 17 December (Utrecht, exact date tbc). Exact times will be confirmed soon.
[NB: The seminar is planned as hybrid, but will move online if necessary]

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Laura Bieger (University of Groningen), Prof. Dr. Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (University of Utrecht)
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 5ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration for the event will open September 8, 2021.
PLEASE NOTE: When registering, please indicate (at remarks) whether you would like to attend the event onsite or online.

What happens when we read a literary text? How and why do we (like to) read it? How do the expectations, questions and perspectives we bring to a text contribute to making it meaningful? How does the materiality of a text affect the way we read?  How does reading literature differ from other types of reading?

Generations of scholars have puzzled over these questions and their significance for our understanding of what literature is and does. This course explores a range of critical perspectives, among them those by Sigmund Freud, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Wolfgang Iser, Édouard Glissant, and Lauren Berlant. And those by our guests: Alexander Starre (FU Berlin), Liedeke Plate (Radboud University), Anna Poletti (University of Utrecht), Philipp Loeffler (Heidelberg University/FU Berlin), Jessica Pressman (UC San Diego). Literary texts include: Henry James, “The Real Thing” and M. Nourbese Philip, Zong!

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with both canonical and new methodologies of engaging with literary texts. We will explore approaches anchored in the practice of interpretation while also critically interrogating this form of literary engagement and challenging it with material and affective approaches to reading literature.

More details on the programme and assignments will be provided soon.

Schedule (the dates are fixed but the times are pending)

The course will (hopefully) take place on-site at the Universities of Groningen and Utrecht, with two of our five guests joining us online.

  • Nov. 19, 11:00-18:00, Groningen – Guest: Alexander Starre
  • Nov. 26, 11:00-18:00, Utrecht – Guest: Liedeke Plate
  • Dec. 3, 11:00-14:00, Utrecht – Guest: Anna Poletti
  • Dec. 10, 11:00-14:00, Groningen – Guest: Philipp Loeffler
  • Dec. 17, 17:00-20:00, Utrecht – Guest (online): Jessica Pressman


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