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Book It: RIT hosts Future of Reading June 9-12

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

What happened to reading while we weren't looking?

Gone are the good old days of Dick and Jane readers with dog-eared pages; now we have those "aha" moments with a Next Page click on the Amazon Kindle.

The art of reading in flux is the focus of The Future of Reading Symposium, a three-day event to be held from June 9-12 across the university campus at Rochester Institute of Technology. The conference is co-sponsored by RIT's School of Print Media and RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, and will feature presentations by experts on three central themes: Reading and Writing, Media and Technology, and Science and Art of Literacy.

Information is available at and the full conference registration cost is $295 and includes several meals and special events. A reduced full-time student rate of $150 is also available with proof of student status.

Kicking off the event is a giant of modern literature, Margaret Atwood, the Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin. Based out of Toronto, Atwood has written more than 40 books that have been translated into more than 30 languages-including novels such as Alias Grace, Life Before Man, and 2008's Moral Disorder.

The Future of Reading also welcomes keynote speaker Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. Anderson's newest book, Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price, has generated incredible insight, buzz and debate over the concept of "freeconomics"-what business models look like when free has emerged as a full-fledged economy.

"RIT faculty and students are conducting research on the experience of reading in print versus the screen," says Patricia Sorce, professor and administrative chair of RIT's School of Print Media. "The conference and the renowned speakers will provide a forum for interaction among participants to discuss whether the newer platforms deliver an enhanced reading experience or whether they detract from the enjoyment of reading and interfere with the comprehension of content."

The invited speakers for RIT's Future of Reading also include:
- Molly Barton-director of business development at Penguin Group, U.S.
- Robert Bringhurst-a major Canadian poet and one of the world's foremost authorities on typographic history and practice. He is the author of The Elements of Typographic Style and a lifelong student of Native North American languages and oral literatures.
- Johanna Drucker-professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA who has published widely on matters related to the history of print, visual poetry, artists' books, graphic design, digital aesthetics and contemporary art.
- N. Katherine Hayles-professor of literature at Duke University who teaches and writes on the relations of literature, science and technology. She is currently completing a book, How We Think: The Transforming Power of Digital Technologies.
- Kris Holmes-type designer and lettering artist who created the Lucida fonts used in Macintosh OS X and Microsoft Windows computer systems. She has designed more than 100 other fonts for digital reading on-screens and in print.
- Richard Lanham-professor emeritus who taught in the English department at UCLA from 1965 to 1994. He is the author of The Economics of Attention, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2006.
- Jon Orwant-engineering manager at Google where he leads the Boston Book Search team in its attempt to make the world's books searchable and discoverable. He is a co-author of several programming books including the bestseller, Programming Perl.
- Denis Pelli-professor of psychology and neural science at New York University who studies object recognition and reading. He is also known for his contributions to the study of vision and the perception of art.
- Amit Ray-associate professor of English at RIT's College of Liberal Arts. He began research on wikis in 2004 and is working on a book project, Writing Babel, to explore how wikis will impact the public sphere in regards to authorship, authority, credit and expertise.
- Dennis Tedlock-State University of New York at Buffalo professor of English/research professor of anthropology. His books include Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings, and the recent, 2000 Years of Mayan Literature.

The Future of Reading Symposium also features interactive session presenters, among them are distinguished graphic designers R. Roger Remington and Massimo Vignelli. Remington is the Lella and Massimo Vignelli Professor of Design at Rochester Institute of Technology. Since 1982 he has been engaged in the research, interpretation and preservation of the history of graphic design and has written four books. At RIT he has also developed a unique scholarly resource, the Graphic Design Archive, which involves preserving and interpreting the original source materials of several Modernist design pioneers.

Vignelli was born in Milan in 1931 and studied architecture in Milan and Venice. He established Vignelli Designs in 1978 and with his wife, Lella Vignelli, established the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan in 1960. In 1965, Vignelli became co-founder and design director of Unimark International Corporation. His work includes graphic and corporate identity programs, publication designs, architectural graphics and exhibition, interior, furniture, and consumer product designs for many leading American and European companies and institutions. The Vignelli's have donated their professional archive to be the centerpiece of the new Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT.

The Future of Reading Symposium is expected to attract 500 national and international participants in the fields of publishing, graphic design and typography, digital humanities, library science and media technology.




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