- Copyright Page
- List of Illustrations
- Notes on Contributors
- In Ancient Rome
- In the Classroom
- In the Custom House
- In Public
- Across Borders
- Mental Representation
- Mindreading and Social Status
- Dyslexia: Through the Eyes of da Vinci
Abstract and Keywords
Book history, media studies, and digital humanities have foregrounded the physical medium of texts and have shown special interest in the rise of digital media. This essay acknowledges the value of these disciplines but also points to their limitations as sites for analyzing reading. Scholars should not draw conclusions about reception based on a work’s medium of presentation. The comprehension process, as described in cognitive psychology, provides a powerful alternative for understanding reading; psychologists have argued for the existence of general comprehension skills that operate across media. Whatever the origin of a text, comprehension occurs in the same medium, the mind of the reader. The study of reading in the humanities needs to separate itself from the disciplines with which it is usually associated (book history and media studies) because these mask critical aspects of the reading process.
Andrew Elfenbein is Professor of English at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. He is the author of Byron and the Victorians (1995), Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role (1999), Romanticism and the Rise of English (2009), and The Gist of Reading (2018). For Longman Cultural Editions, he has edited Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
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