CONF: Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods

Sheffield Hallam University

Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November 2016

Key note speakers:

  • Dr. Ranjana Das, University of Leicester.
  • Prof. Melanie Green, University of Buffalo.
  • Dr. David Peplow, Sheffield Hallam University and Dr. Sara Whiteley, University of Sheffield.
  • Dr. Bronwen Thomas, Bournemouth University.

The last few decades have seen significant increase in the use of reader response methods and analysis in stylistics, narratology, and audience research. Rather than relying exclusively on the analyst’s introspection or on assumptions about the attitudes and experiences of a theoretical or ‘ideal’ reader, much current research uses responses from real readers, players, audiences, and viewers as a starting point for analysis, to verify theoretical conclusions, or to provide insight into the processes and benefits of reading.

Important to this ’empirical turn’ is the use of new data collection methods and novel forms of analysis, resulting in the development of innovative theories of reading. Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods aims to share and debate those methods and thus investigate how real readers, players, audiences, and viewers respond to, experience, and interpret texts. In particular, this interdisciplinary symposium will focus on: the style in which readers respond to a variety of narrative forms (e.g. fiction, poetry, theatre, digital narratives, computer games, film and TV, news broadcasts, political discourse, and other non-fiction including health publications); the methods that we can use to capture and analyse those responses, and/or the ways in which those responses can be used in the analyses of texts across a variety of media.

We invite contributions for 20-minute presentations from researchers interested in style and response. Possible topics include:

  • Style: What can the analysis of style contribute to reader response and what can reader response contribute to stylistics? What is the effect of particular textual devices (e.g. immersion) based on empirical evidence?
  • Response and Reception: What discrepancies need to be accounted for between different users; for instance, user groups of different ages (e.g. children, adolescents, adults), of different cultural backgrounds or geographical locale? How does a participant’s profile influence their interpretation?
  • Minds: Which cognitive models and theories can we utilise in analysing response? What assumptions do they rely on? What, if anything, can the cognitive humanities contribute to cognitive science? Are self-concepts changed only temporarily or more enduringly in narrative engagements? To what extent do identifications with characters or narrative circumstances influence interpretation?
  • Media: How can we account for media-specific and/or transmedia aspects of texts and the responses they generate? How can reception studies inform public discourses or text design?
  • Methods: How do we, as analysts, balance the precision of experimental methodology with more naturalistic approaches? What are the benefits of mixed-methods approaches? What can we learn from approaches in other disciplines?

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and should contain: (a) author name, academic position, academic affiliation, email address, postal address, (b) a thesis statement or research question that the paper will address, (c) an explanation of the methodology, (d) a short reference to emerging results (if applicable), (e) a list of 5 keywords.

Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods is hosted by the Stylistics Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University and sponsored by Sheffield Hallam’s Humanities Research Centre and the international Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA). Please check this page regularly for updates.



Friday, November 11, 2016 - 09:00


Saturday, November 12, 2016 - 23:00

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About us

ENN is the European Narratology Network, an association of individual narratologists and narratological institutions. ENN aims to foster the study of narrative representation in literature, film, digital media, etc. across all European languages and cultures.