International Conference

Public Libraries, cultural politics and reading

September 6 and 7, 2018

Casa dos Bicos, Fundação José Saramago (Lisbon)

Call for Papers

The debate

The proposals for talks may have as possible topics:

  • Public libraries, history and evolution of institutional/organizational purposes; freedom of access and the right to read, constraints, exclusions and censorship.
  • Cultural politics and reading as a public service - social networks and groups, associations and social movements as supporters and promoters of public reading; public reading programs; the offer for public reading.
  • Reading materials, publishing industries and bookselling in relation to public reading offer;
  • The demand for reading: readers and social inequalities - who reads, how and why? Spaces for public reading and the city – uses of space and modes of reading;
  • Social and urban contexts - social classes, gender and race, migrants and refugees; libraries, countercultures and resistance.

The organisers welcome proposals that contribute to frame and understand the changes public libraries are undergoing, debate critical research on public reading that use intersectional, multidisciplinary (Humanities, Sciences Social, Political Sciences,...) or comparative approaches. Critical proposals with reflection on cultural policies and the relations between public reading and society will be valued.

Please submit

  • an ABSTRACT of no more than 300 words and 5 keywords. Your proposal should have a critical approach to the topics.
  • a brief biographical note
  • email Abstract & Bio note to:


  • Abstracts submission: 25th June
  • Acknowledgement of receipt:  30th June
  • Proposals' acceptance:  20th  July
  • Registration for presenters (€20): 28th  July
  • Registration for other participants (€20): 30th July - 17th August
  • Programme: 6th August