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Symposium on Close reading, codes and interpretation

Event information

START DATE 13 June 2017
START TIME 09:00am

H116 (Hatchcroft building), Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, London, NW4 4BT

END DATE 13 June 2017
END TIME 07:00pm

A day symposium hosted by Middlesex University's Language and Communication research cluster

Middlesex University's Language & Communication research cluster warmly invites you to this one-day symposium on ‘Close reading, codes and interpretation’, on Tuesday 13 June.

In some reckonings, ‘close reading’ is now around 90 years old, having been inaugurated in I. A. Richards’ Principles of Literary Criticism (1926) and Practical Criticism (1929). The close reading of texts has become arguably the central activity of the humanities and close reading is carried out across different levels of education and through a number of disciplines.

As its practitioners recognize, procedures of close reading can become ossified into routine practices of code identification rather than active interpretation.

This day symposium seeks to ask what ‘close reading’ is like now, how it is exercised in education in different contexts and how it might differ from or resemble ‘codes’ of reading.

It features papers by teachers in Higher Education, Further Education and Secondary Education.


09.00 – 09.30    Registration

09.30 – 10.15 PAUL COBLEY (Middlesex University)
‘The magic of codes: semiotics and close reading’

10.15-11.00           BARBARA BLEIMAN (English and Media Centre)
‘Close reading in Secondary English – practices, problems and solutions’

11.00 – 11.15 tea/coffee

11.15 – 12.00        ADRIAN PABLÉ (University of Hong Kong)
‘Interpretation, radical indeterminacy and close reading’

12.00 – 1245        STEFAN PETO (Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys)
‘Close reading at the chalk-face: strategies and observations in Key Stage 3’

12.45 – 13.45 Mesh journal launch

13.45 – 14.30        JON ORMAN (University of Hong Kong)
‘Thick description and/as close reading: some language-philosophical reflections’

14.30 – 15.15 BILLY CLARK (Middlesex University)
'Pragmatic inference and reading processes'

15.15 – 16.00        MARCELLO GIOVANELLI (Aston University) and JESS MASON (Sheffield Hallam University)
‘Whose close reading?: emphasis, attention and cognition in the literature classroom’

16.00 -16.15 tea/coffee

16.15 – 17.00        ANDREA MACRAE (Oxford Brookes University)
'Close reading as process and product'

17.00 – 17.45        LOUISA ENSTONE (Darrickwood School)
‘Is it time to stop pee-ing? A grassroots study into teaching reading and essay writing at Secondary’

17.45 – 18.00 JOHAN SIEBERS (Middlesex University)
‘Only the furthest distance would be closeness - semantic anarchism, close reading and academic practice’

18.00 – 19.00 Book launch: Critical Humanist Perspectives ed. Adrian Pablé (Routledge)

Cost: £10 (includes lunch and refreshments).

For further details in the meantime, please email Billy Clark or Paul Cobley.

Please register for this event here

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