Reading Communities from Salons to Cyberspace by DeNel Rehberg Sedo

By DeNel Rehberg Sedo

Analyzing is either a social approach and a social formation, as this e-book illustrates throughout centuries and cultural contexts. Highlighting hyperlinks obvious in analyzing groups from literary salons to on-line environments, every one essay displays the wealthy repertoire of study tools on hand to analyzing students.

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Much later, they gleefully criticize and parody the stylistic faults of a political pamphlet published by their brother Matthew, and preen themselves on one reader’s ‘wishing Mr Robinson had submitted his work to the correction of his Sisters’; a considerable proportion of their satisfaction clearly comes from this challenge to their brother’s ‘poor opinion of female capacity’ ([1774] mo5967). 16 As these examples have already suggested, the critical and authorial skills of these Bluestocking women were founded upon a very wide range of reading.

Leslie Howsam, Old Books & New Histories: an Orientation to Studies in Book & Print Culture (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006). 57. Judith Walkowitz cited in Howsam, Old Books & New Histories, 12. 24 Reading Communities from Salons to Cyberspace 58. See James L. Machor, Readers in History: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Contexts of Response (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993) and James L. Machor and Philip Goldstein Reception Study: From Literary Theory to Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 2001) for theorizing a new historicism in reading reception studies.

In assembling this collection, we are aware that crossing disciplinary boundaries is not always elegant and can be messy – even controversial – but we are cognizant too of the richness that different theoretical assumptions and methodological practices bring to our attempt to become better acquainted with one another as readers. 57 Readership studies have traditionally referred to readers’ notes and marginalia, along with letters and diaries. But such studies have evolved in their approach and researchers in this area now also examine the (sometimes archived) content of listservs, blogs and websites, not to mention radio and television transcripts, in order to construct their analyses.

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