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“The Confessions of a Synesthetic Reader” with Matthew Rubery

April 22, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Synesthesia is a neuropsychological condition that causes the stimulation of one sensory modality to evoke a sensation in another sensory modality. One of the most common forms involves the perception of color in response to achromatic printed letters; for example, the black letter “A” might be perceived in the reader’s mind as a red “A.” This presentation explores the relevance of synesthesia to literary criticism by asking: What effect might perceiving the alphabet in luminous colors have on the experience of reading?

Lunch will be provided.

Presenter Bio: Matthew Rubery is Professor of Modern Literature at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of The Untold Story of the Talking Book (2016) and editor of Audiobooks, Literature, and Sound Studies (2011). He co-curated “How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People,” a public exhibition held at the UK’s first annual Being Human festival. This year he is a fellow at the National Humanities Center, where he is working on a book titled “Reader’s Block: Testimonies of Neurological Reading Disorders.”



April 22, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


East Duke Blue Parlor