The Reading Room: Reading Interventions

Page Not Found and The Reading Room are delighted to invite you to participate in our new program. The Reading Room is a series of reading sessions revolving around short texts provided by invited guests — contemporary researchers, cultural theorists, philosophers and artists — who join us to provide insight and context to the topics at hand. The Reading Room is curated by Sissel Marie Tonn, Jonathan Reus and Flora Reznik.

For this 36th session, Rebekka Kiesewetter joins The Reading Room in an effort to navigate Hamid Dabashi’s text “Can Europeans Read?” (2015). We will understand reading as an interventionist, performative and collaborative way of engaging with a text. We will look at the questions Dabashi raises, consider his ideas around the urgency of thinking “beyond postcoloniality”, and his claim that Europeans will indeed be unable to read anything besides themselves until they “join the rest of humanity in their common quest for a level remapping of the world”. The ability to read will become a form of political engagement.

Taking Dabashi’s text as a point of departure we will enact Johanna Drucker’s concept of “performative materiality” that considers reading as a “constitutive act (…) that makes the text”. Through our engagement – that takes the form of a workshop – the text will lose its status as a fixed, static and authoritative entity, and become open(-ended), inherently relational, multi-temporal, and generative. Along with Fred Moten and Stefano Harney we treat text as a social space: “To say that [text is] a social space is to say that stuff is going on: people, things, are meeting there and interacting, rubbing of one another, brushing against one another – and you enter into that social space, to try to be part of it”.

Rebekka Kiesewetter studied art history, economics and modern history at the University of Zurich). She worked as a writer, editor and curator. She has been a Visiting Professor and Guest Lecturer at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel, the University of the Arts Bern, and the Political Arts Experimentation Program (SPEAP) at Sciences Po (FR), among other institutions. Also, she is a founding member of DA Institut, a member and former co-director of Depot Basel. Currently she is a writing and thesis tutor at the Sandberg Academy Amsterdam and is doing her PhD at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University (UK). Her work evolves on the intersections of experimental publishing, art, design, and the humanities. Her research interests are radical Open Access publishing, experimental publishing, the material, relational and performative dimension of publishing and publications, the philosophical and political dimensions of openness and accessibility, and feminist and intersectional critiques of knowledge production.

Note from the curators

Seating for this event is limited. Please reserve a spot by booking a free ticket below. We will provide you with a copy of the texts once your ticket is booked. As this is a discussion, you are expected to have read the provided texts before attending. Due to the current pandemic situation, we ask you to bring your own snacks and observe physical distance. We will provide masks. After the event, you are welcome to stay around for an informal chat/drink with us.

Starts at 19:00. Get your free ticket.