This one’s for all of my readers in the Northeast, especially those in and around the Philadelphia area. I’ll be delivering a public lecture at Swarthmore College on Thursday, March 25th at 4:00 p.m. The location is the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall. The event, which is part of the College’s Cooper Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. Please come if you can.
The title of my presentation is “Amazon Kindle and the Right to Read: Privacy and Property in the Late Age of Print.” Here’s an abstract for the talk, which is more up-to-date than the version you’ll find on the Swarthmore website:
This presentation focuses on the Amazon Kindle e-reader’s two-way communications capabilities on the one hand, and on its parent company’s recent forays into data services on the other. I argue that however convenient a means Kindle may be for acquiring e-books and other types of digital content, the device nevertheless disposes reading to serve a host of inconvenient—indeed, illiberal—ends. Consequently, the technology underscores the growing importance of a new and fundamental right to counterbalance the illiberal tendencies that it embodies—a “right to read,” which would complement the existing right of free expression.
The presentation is an opening gambit of sorts for a new book project I’m working on, called The Right to Read.
Anyway, I’d be delighted to see you at Swarthmore on Thursday. Please introduce yourself to me if you come. And if you bring your copy of The Late Age of Print, I’d be happy to autograph it for you.