30th Anniversary Conference

From Cover to Cover: Reading Readers


Hacettepe University
Department of American Culture and Literature
30th Anniversary Conference
Ankara, Turkey
November 7 – 9, 2012


Reading has had numerous meanings for different people at different times and places. From reading an animal’s tracks, or a street sign, to reading Derrida, the act of reading has referred to a wide range of activities. People have read for practical purposes (for information, for knowledge, or for material gain), for holy ends (The Quran said “Read in the name of your Lord”), for political and social reasons (“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,” said Frederick Douglass), for entertainment, etc. In the age of computers, cell phones, and the Internet, the traditional notions about the significance of reading, its function, and value seem to be challenged in various ways. Our conference aims to take a fresh look at the good old practice of reading in all its denotations and connotations from all possible quarters and perspectives provided that papers relate to the American context.


Possible topics may include:


  • Reading practices across cultures: anthropology of reading.
  • Reading across race, gender, class, and nationality.
  • Historical and cultural forms of literacy and illiteracy: from knowing the alphabet to media literacy.
  • Economy of reading: advertising and marketing (book fairs, book signing, newspaper book supplements); reader as consumer and book as a commercial product; literary rewards and prizes.
  • Reading high and low: questions of taste and preference; popular literature; war of the genres, etc.
  • Reading and the institution: reading and institutional practices (legal, medical, religious, etc.) and the issue of power.
  • Reading critically: role of literary criticism; theories of reading such as Marxist, feminist, poststructuralist, etc.; particularly reader oriented approaches, their methods and strategies; types of readers, such as ideal reader, implied reader, informed reader etc.
  • Politics of reading: right to read; reading as a medium of social change; censorship of reading; reading and ideology.
  • Reading, knowledge and information: libraries and archives, cultural heritage and texts.
  • Reading communities such as book clubs and blogs, social networks, interpretive communities, etc.
  • Representations of reading: acts of reading within the literary text (the character as reader), in cinema, visual arts, the media, and popular culture.
  • Reading to write and writing to be read, or not to be read (e.g., Emily Dickinson); writers as readers of their own works or others’ works; writers on reading.
  • Reading materials: nature (e.g., for transcendentalists), cave writings, coffee-cups and palms, laundry lists, letters, books, periodicals, anthologies, internet, etc.
  • Comparative approaches to the entry points above.

Abstracts between 200 to 300 words and a short bio should be sent to Dr. Ceylan Özcan at   ake2012conference@gmail.com by August 1, 2012.

For more information about the conference, see our departmental website: //www.ake.hacettepe.edu.tr/Install/

Alternatively, you can reach this page using the following shortcut: //tinyurl.com/bql75r9


Conference Program (Subject to changes. Please check later for updates and revisions.)

Last update:  Nov. 2, 2012

Keynote Speakers

Information on Accommodation and Excursions

Transportation Information



Registration Form Please complete and submit by September 15, 2012



Please let the organizers know if you are going to use audio-visual equipment during your presentation.

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.

Selected presenters will be asked to submit full text manuscripts (4000-5000 words) for consideration in an edited volume of essays based on the conference theme.