Read-it project


Event news: The Future and the Past of Reading (18.11.2021), Milano, Italy

READ-IT members will take part in a workshop, ‘The Future and the Past of Reading. New Research Methods for new Perspectives’ [Il futuro e il passato della lettura. Nuovi metodi d’indagine per nuove prospettive] at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, on Thursday 18 November 2021 (14.30-16.00 CET). Speakers at the event include Alessio Antonini and Francesca Benatti (The Open University, UK); Lodovica Braida (Università degli Studi di Milano); Elisa Marazzi (Università degli Studi di Milano); Brigitte Ouvry-Vial (Le Mans Université, France); and Damiano Rebecchini (Università degli Studi di Milano).


Lodovica Braida, Brigitte Ouvry-Vial, Lire en Europe. Textes, formes, lectures (XVIIIe-XXIe siècle). Rennes: PUR, 2020

Damiano Rebecchini, Raffaella Vassena, Reading Russia. A History of Reading in Modern Russia (3 voll.). Milan: Ledizioni, 2020.


“Reading has a history”: this argument by Robert Darnton has deeply influenced research carried out by historians of literature and book historians in the last decades. Investigating reading, a volatile practice not often retraceable in traditional sources, implies some challenges, as well as it provides new insights on authors, their works, and the society in which they lived (and live). Starting from two recently published volumes, dealing respectively with the history of reading practices in Europe and in Russia, the advancement of knowledge on reading in the past will be discussed. This will be combined with the presentation of READ-IT (Reading Europe Advanced Data Investigation Tool), a current project by a consortium of European universities led by prof. Brigitte Ouvry-Vial, Le Mans Université. By discussing how READ-IT combines traditional scholarship with new digital methods such as crowdsourcing and web-crawling, and how this enables a better understanding of the past and the present of reading as a cultural practice, attendants will be projected in the future of the discipline.

The event will take place in person, but you will also be able to join remotely via Microsoft Teams. This workshop is included in the programme for BookCity Milano, which this year runs from 17-21 November 2021.