Picturing the Reader:
Reading and Representation in the Long Nineteenth Century
The long nineteenth century saw a prolific increase in the number of books being produced and read, and consequently in the number of visual and textual discourses about reading. This conference will examine a range of visual and textual iconographies of readers produced during this period and map the ways in which visual and textual representations of readers were linked and mutually influential. Whilst nineteenth-century Britain is a key focus, the event extends to include the British empire in order to explore how representations and understandings of reading differed geographically and were inflected by specific locales. Scholars are invited from the fields of literary studies, art history, social history, cultural studies, readership studies, library history, book history, history of education and history of leisure and recreation in order to foster interdisciplinary dialogues on the subject of nineteenth-century representations of readers.