News | 26 January 2012

What is a Reader? Survey


Students of all disciplines are encouraged to complete the What is a Reader? survey for your chance to win one of two Kindle Fires. The deadline to complete the survey to be entered into the drawing is February 15, 2012.

Click here to take survey
What is a Reader? is a multi-campus research project supported by the Teagle Foundation’s Big Questions in the Disciplines initiative. Established in 2009 by faculty members in English and Literature departments from Mills College, Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, and U.C. Santa Cruz, it seeks to understand undergraduate literacy today and its implications for the study of literature at the college level.

Dramatic shifts in recent years challenge traditional understandings of the places, purposes, and objects of reading. Following the destabilization of the “great works” canon, English and Literature departments are seeking new rationales for literary study; at the same time, undergraduates’ reading environments are expanding into new media, prompting public concern about a decline of reading among the young. These changes create a new context in which undergraduate literary study must find its bearings.

Through public lectures, multi-campus workshops, student surveys, and an interactive web environment, What is a Reader? seeks to understand the changing landscape of literacy that our students inhabit. In the process, it asks how the new practices and objects of reading set a new agenda for departments of literature, for which reading is a central concern.