The Reception Studies Working Group is concerned with the reception, transmission, production and consumption of “cultural” forms, epistemologies, texts, and ideas temporally and spatially. For example, how do new technologies—print culture, Skype, social media etc—shape the ways in which texts and ideas are received? How does the movement of people, both voluntary and involuntary, alter the cultures and worlds that they inhabit, such as in the reception of African music and art in the United States and Europe?

Reception studies confront us with the changing intellectual and cultural roles of sacred and profane canons of art and literature in the broadest sense. Indeed tracking receptions requires an examination of the cultural setting of the reception in which the new work appears; the authority of learned environments and educational systems in general; the relationship of culture and politics where canons and their reception are created, translated, promulgated, and preserved. Avoiding the contentious discussions about the “western” literary canon and its collusion with power elites that have permeated educational establishments in the United States in the last forty years, this working group will examine how the various appropriations of earlier texts and cultural forms have responded to them as prompts, have imitated or echoed them, have inspired new cultural, scientific and artistic developments, selectively read or edited them, undermined them, or otherwise used them, all of which constitute their reception history.

As an interdisciplinary working group, we invite participation from faculty members and graduate students whose work engages Reception Studies broadly conceived.