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The Ethics of Close Reading? A Workshop

The Ethics of Close Reading? A Workshop

Oct 20, 2023
– 5:30pm
124 Sparks Building
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The practice known as close reading has been for decades one of the central methodological commitments of literary studies. Consolidated, articulated, and promulgated as part of the professionalization of the field during the New Critical era, close reading survived the theory wars and continues to be a major focus of teaching at the college and K-12 levels. Close reading’s importance to literary studies can be measured by the list of its various antagonists—distant reading, surface reading, even, for a while, the new historicism—as well as its many promoters; it remains, both in the breach and the observance, a fulcrum of the disciplines that promulgate, define, and practice it.

Penn State’s Center for Humanities and Information invites you to a workshop, “The Ethics of Close Reading,” that discusses the past, present, and future of close reading as an epistemological method and an ethical orientation towards its object.

Event Schedule


  • Jane Gallop (U Wisconsin – Milwaukee)
  • Faye Halpern (U of Calgary)
  • Johanna Winant (West Virginia U)


  • Eric Hayot (Penn State)
  • Chris Rovee (Louisiana State U)
  • Paul Fleming (Cornell U)

Lunch Break


  • Robert Higney (City College of New York)
  • Elaine Auyoung (U of Minnesota)
  • Gary Weissman (U of Cincinnati)


  • Paula Moya (Stanford U)
  • Yael Segalovitz (Ben Gurion U)
  • Ellen McCallum (Michigan State)