Assistant Professor in English and American Literatures
Kazimierz Wielki University, department of English literary and cultural studies
Literary theory; cultural studies; critical discourses
In the eighteenth-century, reading was often regarded as a collective activity of social significance. In many ways, the diversity of reading practices led to collective, sociable enterprises and generated lively exchanges between readers. This private, domestic practice also developed into public, scientific readings, at a time when the organization of society as a whole relied more and more on rising levels of literacy.
Pleasure gardens were a type of eighteenth-century public spaces which offered diverse forms of entertainment for their visitors. Their spatial design coincided with the growth of the public sphere and fostered disparate forms of social interactions on their premises. Related to the growing commodification of culture as expressed in corresponding forms of leisure, they can also be linked to the rising significance of culturally conditioned notions such as taste, fashion or visibility.