This chapter presents a rationale for the examination of letters to the editor and reader engagement as historically and culturally significant practices. We outline some key challenges and benefits that arise from examining this rich, and under-utilised, record of reader interactions with print press over an extended period. We also argue that these engagements are historically, geographically and culturally mediated. We propose a broad agenda for the examination of the ways letters to the editor evidence mutable and diverse forms of reader engagement, one which links together ideas around political agency, citizenship, performativity and reader identity.
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