Keynote speaker – Dr Matthew Rubery

We are very pleased to announce that our keynote speaker at ‘in:flux – 1845-1945: A Century in Motion’ will be Dr Matthew Rubery of Queen Mary, University of London. Dr Rubery’s talk is entitled ‘Reading on the Move after 1877’ and he will be discussing the following:

‘Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. From the phonograph’s
first utterance, observers were powerfully drawn to the notion of a new
kind of book existing in recorded form, to be heard rather than read.
This talk documents a series of hypothetical mechanical reading devices
developed by advocates for the blind, engineers, futurists, utopianists,
and novelists in response to Edison’s invention. Chief among them was a
portable phonographic reading machine that, nearly a century ahead of
the Walkman, would entertain a distinctly modern group of urban
commuters who welcomed the opportunity for reading on the move.’

Further information about Dr Rubery’s research interests and publications can be found here:

We hope you will join us for what promises to be a fascinating keynote!



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