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Genius of the Modern World: NietzscheFriday, 24th June 2016 01:05 - BBC Radio 4 BBC4 SignedBettany Hughes takes us on an exploration of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and works. Read more: Genius of the Modern World: Nietzsche
The Big C & Me: Episode 2Friday, 24th June 2016 01:05 - BBC Two
Genius of the Modern World: NietzscheFriday, 24th June 2016 02:40 - BBC Four
Thinking Allowed 2016: A special programme on Pierre BourdieuMonday, 27th June 2016 00:15 - BBC Radio 4
Genius of the Modern World: NietzscheAvailable until Friday, 29th July 2016 00:00Bettany Hughes takes us on an exploration of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and works. Read more: Genius of the Modern World: Nietzsche
The Big C & Me: Episode 2Available until Sunday, 24th July 2016 02:05
The Big C & Me: Episode 3Available until Friday, 22nd July 2016 23:55
Thinking Allowed 2016: A special programme on Pierre BourdieuAvailable for over a year
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How do we know what people read in the past, and how they read it? This free course, History of reading tutorial 1: Finding evidence of reading in the past, is the first in a series of tutorials designed to help users of the UK Reading Experience Database (UK RED) search, browse and use the resource, and explores the types of evidence historians have uncovered about the history of reading. Tutorial 2 (Red_2) and Tutorial 3 (Red_3) look at how this evidence can be used to tell us about the reception of a literary text and to demonstrate the impact of a writers reading on their literary output. UK RED is a resource built and maintained at The Open University.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- demonstrate a basic knowledge of the debates about the evidence of reading, understanding distinctions between ‘hard’ or quantitative data and ‘soft’ or qualitative data
- understand an overview of some of the types of evidence scholars have used to construct the UK RED and their relative merits as primary sources
- identify different sources when looking at individual entries in the UK RED
- experiment with applying different methods of analysis to sets of records in the UK RED, including the application of quantitative and qualitative methods.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Debates about where to find readers
- 2 Evidence of reading experiences
- 3 Using UK RED to understand reading in the past – collating the evidence
- 4 Conclusion and further reading
- Keep on learning
- Further reading
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
History of reading tutorial 1: Finding evidence of reading in the past
For researchers in a range of academic disciplines, the question of what people read in the past, and how they read it, is of great importance. Evidence of reading helps us to understand the formation of literary canons, both from a popular and educational standpoint. It allows us to give due weight to the impact of significant texts at key historical moments, especially their role in shaping popular ideas and opinions. For instance, knowing who read, how many read, and how they responded to Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species helps us to understand the formation of Victorian ideas about evolution and race.
This tutorial is about locating evidence of reading and using that evidence to better understand how past societies have made use of text. We will begin by looking at debates about the different types of evidence and methods of collection. Next we will focus on some of the diverse sources that have been used to populate UK Reading Experience Database (RED), analysing their merits and value. Finally, we will explore ways of extracting sets of data from UK RED and applying quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis to arrive at some conclusions about reading in the past.
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Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 16th February 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 16th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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