Parlour is delighted to launch our latest initiative! Led by Anwyn Hocking and Sophie Adsett, the Parlour Reading Room is another opportunity to come together as a community, to foster discussion, to support new knowledge and have fun!
Parlour Reading Room is our take on the traditional book club. It’s a six-month initiative to come together as a community to connect and engage with feminist theory and practice.
Parlour Reading Room provides the structure or ‘the room’ (get it!?) in which you can organise your own book club with colleagues and friends. This may be a small group of friends or an entire practice! Each month has a new theme. We will provide suggested materials to read, listen to and watch, along with facilitation guides to prompt discussion. Then it’s up to you to meet and discuss!
At the end of each month, everyone is invited to an online Q&A session to reflect further on the ‘readings’, using these to prompt discussion with the Parlour Reading Room community and two experts.
The aim is to foster meaningful and intimate conversation among small groups, where some people may be more comfortable sharing their ideas and then to gather together over Zoom for further discussion. Comments and questions can be shared during the Q&A or submitted ahead of time – for the more introverted among us!
FAQS – get started with your Book Stack
How do I organise my own group?
Gather together a group of friends, colleagues, collaborators, family, just about anyone interested in engaging with feminist theory, practice and the built environment! Register your group to be on the Parlour Reading Room mailing list and book for the monthly Parlour Reading Room Zoom Q&A sessions.
We are calling these groups Parlour Book Stacks. These can be as small or as large as you like. For a more intimate group, two to three people can work, but eight to ten can also work well – just remember that you want to find a sweet spot to enable everyone to speak and reflect.
You may like to host your book club in the lunchroom at work, your living room, a pub, cafe, over Zoom – wherever is easiest (and COVID safe)!
We’d love to know about your Book Stack – register your group here.
Can anyone get involved?
Yes! It is important to us that this program is accessible, welcoming and informal. This space should be fun and friendly, not exclusive, stressful or daunting.
What if I don’t want to be in a smaller book club or can’t find anyone who wants to start a book club?
No worries – it’s just a suggestion! You’re more than welcome to go on a personal Parlour Reading Room journey and join the broader Parlour Reading Room during our Zoom Q&A sessions. You might meet people there you can connect with again.
Can you help me find a Book Stack?
Yes! Let us know where you are and if you are looking for an online or in-person group and we will do our best to match you up.
How often should we meet?
Meet once a month with your book club to discuss the material, and then log on to Zoom at the end of each month to meet with everyone involved in the Parlour Reading Room. The collective Zoom will be a space for guest speakers to discuss their areas of expertise. You will be able to send in questions that have arisen during your book club discussions ahead of time, and there will also be a more informal Q and A period from questions that arise during the talk.
When are the Zoom Q & A sessions?
On the last Thursday evening of each month. Set yourself up with a tea or wine (or any beverage of choice) and join in our Parlour Reading Room!
Invitations and booking links will be sent at the start of each month.
When should we start?
Parlour Reading Room officially starts in September 2021 – so start now, and we’ll see you on Zoom at the end of September!
Ugh, I can’t commit to this right now!! Can I join later?
Absolutely! If there are particular months you would like to join and others that you can’t, that’s completely fine.
The Reading Room framework with suggestions and facilitation guides will be available on the Parlour website for you to check in on any time. The Q & A zoom sessions will also be recorded and available online. So if now doesn’t work, start whenever works best for you and go at your own pace!
What support will you provide?
Readings, material suggestions and discussion prompts will be available via the Suggested Material List. This interactive document enables the Parlour Reading Room to be a collective exercise, open for additional text suggestions, questions and comments from you!
There are lots of suggested materials – eek! What if I can’t get through them all?
Each month has two to three recommended material suggestions – these are articles, videos or podcast episodes that we recommend engaging with in preparation for the Zoom Q&A session. There are also additional read-watch-listen resources for those who would like to dig a little deeper into the topic.
We have selected a diversity of materials to be accessible and allow you to consume information in whichever way you prefer! We have also included with each suggestion the average reading, watching or listening time.
Ok, sounds good! What next?
Watch Anwyn and Sophie introduce the Reading Room.