The articles collected in this issue take up the difficult challenge of the “invisibility of readers in the archives,” as Lisa Jane Graham writes. The basis for any history of reading, as understood by an earlier wave of “reader-response” literary critics, like Hans Robert Jauss, Wolfgang Iser, and Stanley Fish, who broke with purely linguistic or semiotic approaches to texts in favor of such categories as “horizon of expectations,” “reception aesthetics,” and “interpretive communities,” lies in the affirmation that the meaning of a text is always the product of a relationship between the text's propositions and its appropriations by its readers.1 This principle explains why all these approaches to reading, whether literary or historical, have struggled with the same question: how to grasp reading in action, how to construct the archive of a practice that, most often, leaves no trace....

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