Focused Reflection: Self-implication, Meaning, and Expression
Faculty: Keith Oatley (University of Toronto), Mary-Beth Oliver (Pennsylvania State University), Emy Koopman (Erasmus University, Rotterdam)
Beyond the traditional distinction in experimental aesthetics between pleasure and interest, recent studies distinguish between reading for pleasure and reading for meaning (cf. Oliver & Bartsch, 2010). Meaningful reading is experiential; it involves intimate acquaintance with narrative figures, implicates the reader’s sense of self, evokes poignant emotions, and supports expressive explication (Oatley, 2011; Sikora, Kuiken, & Miall, 2011). However, these aspects of the reading process are only beginning to be explored in systematic empirical studies. Summer Institute sessions will focus on the implications of these developments for research concerning the process of meaningful literary reading. The following questions will be addressed:
- What qualitative and quantitative methods provide access to the processes involved in experiential reading?
- What situational (including interpersonal) factors facilitate experiential reading?
- What are the characteristics of individuals who engage in experiential reading?
Oatley, K. (2011). Such stuff as dreams: The psychology of fiction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Oliver, M. B., & Woolley, J. K. (2010). Tragic and poignant entertainment: The gratifications of meaningfulness. In K. Döveling, C. von Scheve, & E. Konijn (Eds.), Handbook of emotions and mass media (pp. 134-147). New York: Routledge.
Sikora, S., Kuiken, D., & Miall, D. S. (2011). Expressive reading: A phenomenological study of readers’ experience of Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Journal of Aesthetics, Creativity, and Art, 5, 258-268.