The future of reading in Scandinavia

Reading is a hot question in language, arts, and cultural studies departments all over the world. In understanding reading as a key human activity, how should we approach it academically? For who is reading important? What does reading mean in terms of socialization and cultural transfer of ideas? How does reading change, historically and with new technological advances, and what is the status of reading today? How do we conceive of the relation between the literary scholar’s own reading of a text and the ways literature is being read and used in other settings? Is there a distinctive Scandinavian perspective on reading?

At the Department of English, Germanic, and Romance Studies at the University of Copenhagen, the research project Lockdown Reading has taken on these questions in the event of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Now we want to invite scholars from all over Scandinavia to contemplate where this discussion is going in the future.

With this workshop, we make it possible for researchers who work with questions about reading in various ways to meet and exchange ideas. We wish to establish a forum, where researchers who do not cross paths on a day-to-day basis can engage in a common discussion across universities in Scandinavia.

The program is shaped around five round table discussions and collective reading of a text chosen by the organizers. The workshop is open to everyone, and you are more than welcome to attend just part of the program.


09:30  Arrival

Roundtable 1: How do digital platforms and digital life influence reading in
general and/or methodologically?
11:00 Break
11:10 Roundtable 2: How does reading shape thought, and/or what effects can
deep/absorbed reading bring the reader?
12:00  Lunch
13:10 Roundtable 3: What is the role of reading in everyday life, and/or how can
reading be studied as an everyday or lay activity?
14:00  Break
14:15 Roundtable 4: How is reading involved in the making of a text, and/or what
would it mean to do a just reading of a text?
14:55 Break
15:15 Roundtable 5: How is reading related to its performance and setting, and/or
what are the implications of reading in the social?
15:55 Break
16:10 The Future of Reading? Collective reading: ‘Human and Machine Cultures of Reading: A Cognitive-Assemblage Approach’ by Katherine Hayles
16:50 Concluding remarks
17:00 Break
18:30 Dinner for roundtable participants, Pirlo, Strandlodsvej 42a, 2300 Copenhagen S



Roundtable 1

  • Sara Tanderup Linkis, Lund University
  • Jens Bjerring-Hansen, University of Copenhagen
  • Mathies Græsborg Aarhus, University of Southern Denmark
  • Anne Mangen, University of Stavanger

Roundtable 2

  • Kristiane Hauer, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University
  • Christina Lupton, University of Copenhagen
  • Juan Toro, University of Southern Denmark
  • Christian Benne and Irina Hron, Zoom connection from Vienna

Roundtable 3

  • Gitte Balling, University of Copenhagen
  • Ben Davies, University of Portsmouth
  • Tobias Skiveren, Aarhus University
  • Line Dalsgård, Aarhus University

Roundtable 4

  • Stefanie Heine, University of Copenhagen
  • Stefan Kjerkegaard, Aarhus University
  • Maria Damkjær, University of Copenhagen

Roundtable 5

  • Louise Mønster, Aalborg University
  • Mette Steenberg, Aarhus University
  • Solveig Daugaard, University of Copenhagen


Johanne Gormsen Schmidt, University of Copenhagen

Amanda Grimsbo Roswall, University of Copenhagen



Please write to the organizers Johanne Gormsen Schmidt or Amanda Grimsbo Roswall if you would like to attend.

If you have any questions or comments about the workshop, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by sending an email to the organizers.

Text for collective reading

Katherine Hayles: “Human and Machine Cultures Reading: A Cognitive-Assemblage Approach,” PMLA 133.5 (2018), pp. 1225-1242.