The death of the book and the decline of literary reading have been threatened for over two decades now. How can the humble novel compete with the .. Read more latest social media apps to capture our attention and connect us to others. And yet the experience of imaginative, immersive, literary reading endures and remains one of humanity’s most vital cognitive and cultural processes. This is because books and literary reading are not throw-back alternatives to social media, but instead precursor forms of social media. We still read novels because they remain one of our most effective technologies for socializing, communicating, and keeping company with others. The first goal of this webinar is to uncover and understand the social basis of literary reading. To accomplish this goal, we will examine how reading has historically been approached as a social experience, and we will look at what happens cognitively and psychologically in the process of reading to make even the most solitary reader feel like they are in the company of others.
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