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FAU researchers launch an international research network all about reading

FAU researchers launch an international research network all about reading (photo: pixabay)

If you were to ask anyone – or even yourself – what they have been reading as of late, you are likely to get an answer along the lines of “reading? I don’t really get around to reading a good book anymore!” Upon closer inspection, however, we read a lot in everyday life. And does the definition of “reading” have to be limited to literature in the first place?

Not at all, according to researchers of the FAU, the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and the Stiftung Lesen. Together, they have launched a research network with the goal of examining reading from a multitude of interdisciplinary perspectives. The “Netzwerk Leseforschung” connects researchers from seven countries, proficient in cognitive psychology, media and communication sciences, didactics, pedagogy, literary studies, linguistics and book science. Their research topic is almost as diverse as their disciplinary backgrounds; in a position paper, supporters of the network have declared that reading practical texts is to be taken just as seriously in research as reading world literature. The same goes for digital media compared to print. Diversity in readers will also be taken into account, with endeavours to make reading more accessible for people with reading difficulties and to enhance reader motivation.

Coordinating the network together are Prof. Dr. Svenja Hagenhoff from the Institute of Book Science at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Prof. Dr. Simone C. Ehmig from the Institute for Research on Reading and Media from Stiftung Lesen in Mainz, and Prof. Dr. Ute Schneider from the Gutenberg Institute for World Literature and Written Media at Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. They are currently planning on expanding the network and creating a platform to publish information about ongoing research and results as well as to encourage interdisciplinary connections.

The position paper as well as further information about “Netzwerk Leseforschung“ are available via www.netzwerk-leseforschung.fau.de