Who’s Reading Who?

This two-part conversation on “reading” and interpreting authoritative texts asks the question, “Who’s Reading Who?”—that is, who is doing the “reading” of authoritative texts and whose readings are prioritized?

FEATURING a draw for a 200£ book credit from Bloomsbury open to graduate students and adjunct instructors! Come to both parts and enter your name twice for a chance to win!


The first session will focus on interpretive authority and authorities. From constitutional originalism to historical criticism of the Bible, certain modes of reading and interpreting texts are deemed “objective” or “neutral.” Speakers will analyze these modes of reading and interpretation, drawing attention to their pitfalls and the ways in which they elide or silence other ways of approaching authoritative texts.

The second session will look at forms of “reading” that critique dominant forms of interpretation. How do scholars engage with authoritative texts in order to critique and provide alternatives to dominant, so-called objective forms of reading? What are some available community-based practices of textual interpretation, and what does ethical “reading” look like in these communities of accountability? What can practices like chanting or singing tell us about how different people approach authoritative texts?

Part 1: Authority and Authorities

Chance Bonar

Shaily Patel

CJ Schmidt

Jason A. Staples

Stephen L. Young

January 28, 2021, 3:00–4:30 pm EST

Registration: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eWRKLeBYTF-9ze1yvHnT3A

Part 2: Interpretation and Ethics

Ericka Dunbar

Charlotte Eubanks

Lynn R. Huber

Lauren E. Osborne

M Adryael Tong

February 5, 2021, 3:00–4:30 pm EST

Registration: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ckS4hIaiSh2AxkOw375zgw

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