Trust Exercise: An Experimental Reading Group

Is reading a novel a matter of trust?

Each time we begin or resume reading or listening to a novel, do we entrust its characters, its narrator, its author with something that is of value to us? 

What do we expect from a novel? What happens when the novel meets our expectations? And what happens when it doesn’t? Can we say we feel betrayed?

How does the place and time we read a novel shape our reading experience? Does the book’s format–be it a physical or digital copy, or aural narration–shape the way we feel about the novel and the trust we place in it? 

Does it matter, in terms of trust, how the novel ended up in our hands? 

Under what conditions do we choose to share our impressions, as well as the thoughts, feelings and questions that a novel stirred up in us? And what is the significance of sharing our reading experience in terms of building trust?

These are some questions that ‘Trust Exercise: An Experimental Reading Group’ sets out to explore. Like any other reading group, ‘Trust Exercise’ is based on free-flowing discussion of a novel which the participants will be assigned during the group’s first meeting. Yet unlike other reading groups, ‘Trust Exercise’ combines discussion with theatrical exercises, experiments with collective writing and forms of documentation. Through its experimental format, ‘Trust Exercise’ creates the conditions for the participants to explore together the workings of trust in the process of interpretation. By calling attention to the very practice of joining a reading group, ‘Trust Exercise’ also invites the participants to ponder the extent to which shared reading experiences contribute to building a sense of community. 

Time & Place

‘Trust Exercise’ consists of four sessions

All of them will take place at The Trapdoor Theatre, Newman Building, UCD

Each session begins at 3:30pm and will last for one hour and a half. 

The dates of the sessions are the following: 


Tuesday, 13 February 

Tuesday, 20 February 

Tuesday, 5 March

Friday, 8 March


We kindly ask people who express interest in participating to make sure that they can attend all four sessions. 

Who Can Join?

‘Trust Exercise’ is open to everyone who enjoys reading novels and is curious about matters of trust. Whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student, a postdoctoral fellow, a member of staff – academic or non-academic—this reading group is for you! 

Priority may be given to undergraduate students. 

Each participant will receive a free copy of the novel that we are going to discuss!


Please use the following link to register by 5 February 2024:

Please note that places are limited. The earlier you register, the more likely it is that you will secure a place. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the organisers, Katerina Pavlidi ( and Adam Kelly (