Read-it project


Cora Krömer dissertation defence 14.12.2020

We’re pleased to announce Cora Krömer’s dissertation defence, 14 December 2020, on reading testimonies on social networks. Here is her abstract:

Digital technology is transforming the production, circulation and reception of written culture. These changes provide an opportunity to examine reading practices, whose decline is regularly deplored, and the pivotal moment in HSS–new objects, terrains and methods – that this examination confronts us with. Starting from the question, still unanswered–why and how do people read?–this thesis analyses ordinary reading experiences shared through reviews posted on the online reader community, Babelio. It tests the potentialities and limits of an ad hocmethodology, a mixed-methods approach deploying quali-quantitative and computer-assisted methods (database and text mining). The use of preliminary work on reading and literary exchanges, coming from various disciplines in the humanities, enables a deeper understanding of the new modalities associated with the phenomenon of reading in the digital age.  The confrontation of critical commentaries with theoretical notions on the act and effects of reading makes it possible to: underline the importance and taste for online sharing of readers as well as its commercial exploitation by social networks dedicated to this cultural activity; verify the experimental value of the concepts of cooperation between text and reader, of immersion, and of pleasures of reading on printed media. Thus, in the digital literary sphere, it is not necessarily reading itself that proves to be a new idea, but rather the possibility of sharing between peers within specific online communities.