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For Immediate Release
September 25, 2015

IPFW Hosts National Conference for Reception Study Society, Five Faculty Members to Present

Research focuses on how people interpret what they see, read, and hear

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is hosting the national conference for the Reception Study Society (RSS) September 25–26. The two-day event includes plenary talks featuring faculty from universities such as Brown, Cornell, and Northwestern and presentations by five IPFW faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences:

  • Janet Badia, Women’s Studies
  • Steven Carr, Communication
  • Damian Fleming, English
  • Suzanne LaVere, History
  • Michael Stapleton, English

 "Reception study means a lot of things to different people, but its different parts generally fall under the rubric of audience- and reader-oriented study," said Carr, associate professor of communication. "Much of teaching and research in media and literature traditionally tends to focus more on texts themselves, or on texts as if they existed in isolation from audiences, without looking at the various contexts for how people engage with these texts, or the unique engagements those readings produce," he continued. "The past 25 or so years have brought increased interest in better understanding of how actual audiences make meaning from texts."

Scholarship in these areas has exploded over those last 25 years with important expansions of research and new theoretical, historical, and textual studies. Although associations such as SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing) examine one or two of these areas, the advances and developments in specific fields have remained largely disconnected. The RSS is the only association to promote dialog and discussion among all the diverse areas and scholars of reception study.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that the Reception Study Society has come to Fort Wayne this year for their biannual conference,” said Eric Carl Link, dean of IPFW’s College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s a testament to the great work of numerous faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences in this field, and it’s an honor to host these scholars from around the country and the world. With plenary speakers from such well respected institutions, the event is certain to be rewarding not only for the conference attendees, but also for the entire IPFW community.”

About the Reception Study Society

The Reception Study Society is a non-profit organization that promotes informal and formal exchanges between scholars in several related fields: reader-response criticism and pedagogy, reception study, history of reading and the book, audience, communication, and media studies, and any other studies engaging these primary areas. Bringing together theorists, scholars, and teachers from all of these areas, RSS promotes a much-needed cross-disciplinary dialogue among all areas of reception studies, advancing teaching as well as research.

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