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Man and Reading

Ever since humans started writing, they have also been reading. But what kinds of writing are there and how has reading changed over time? How is literary reading affected by the connectedness of our everyday lives, where the endless flow of entertainment constantly calls for our attention on the digital devices we carry?

During the seminar, we took a closer look at these and other questions regarding reading in three sections ‘Signs, Writing, Reading’, ‘Holy Books’ and ‘Reading and Interpretation’. What did writing and reading look like in ancient times? Can one claim to be reading when listening to an audiobook? What does reading mean for society and culture? What does professional reading look like – that of the researcher and that of the critic? The seminar at van der Nootska Palatset on 20 March focused on various perspectives on reading as a co-creative activity. The questions are also explored in the upcoming anthology Man and Reading: Aspects on a Life Changing Activity.


Joel Halldorf

Professor of Church History at University College Stockholm

Bengt Jangfeldt

Associate Professor of Slavic Languages, author and translator

Rebecka Kärde

Literary critic and translator

Kristoffer Leandoer

Author and literary critic

Peter Luthersson

Associate Professor of Literary Studies at Lund university, former culture editor at Svenska Dagbladet

Anders Olsson

Professor Emeritus of Literary Studies at Stockholm University, member of the Swedish Academy and chairman of the Nobel Committee

Stina Otterberg Engdahl

PhD in literary studies, author, editor and critic

Julia Pennlert

PhD in Literary Studies and university lecturer specialising in reading and reading promoting activities at The Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås

Ola Wikander

Associate professor and university lecturer in Old Testament Exegesis at Lund University, linguist and author