This conference will explore the ways in which critical reading practices contend with the blatant – the obvious, the shameless, the explicit.

As readers, writers and commentators, we often assume it is our role to unearth latent truths from the materials we encounter: to bring forth, elucidate and interpret these textual and visual objects. in doing so, we necessarily look past their blatant features, taking for granted their immediacy, obviousness and explicative ease.

By forcing attention back to the blatant, this conference will offer a space in which to consider, across different media and disciplines, what it might mean to engage with materials “at face value”.