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Launching a new format: Close Reading Workshop

News from May 20, 2020

As a research group interested in the history of communication, it has been fascinating for us to witness the ways in which the global COVID-19 pandemic has driven the uptake of digital communications technologies. The Reaching the People research group, like many others, has quickly adjusted to the new norm of meeting via video from our homes dotted across Berlin, instead of convening in our usual office at the Freie Universität in Berlin-Dahlem. Beyond the team, we are keen to ensure that our networks of academic exchange remain open, even as travel and face-to-face contact are not possible for the time being.

In order to respond to these new challenges and in a bid to maintain and further develop academic exchange despite the present crisis, we are excited to announce the launch of a new format. Each month, we will be meeting an author via video link to discuss manuscripts or recently published writings that relate to our interests, along with other scholars from our network. Through these discussions we hope to gain inspiration from work being done elsewhere, as well as to share the latest questions and insights from our own research.

In our first session, on Monday 11 May 2020, we were joined by Philippa Hetherington from University College London to discuss a chapter of her forthcoming book, Circulating Subjects: The Trafficking in Women and the Russian Construction of an International Crime. It was a pleasure to be probe the author further on the international dynamics of the “white slavery” panic of the early twentieth century, as well as to hear her thoughts on how this research connects with current social and political debates.

For more information on our discussion partners in future months, check the dates page on our website. If you are interested in finding out more about or participating in our monthly Close Reading events, please contact any member of the research group.

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