Explore the literary creation of fictional minds
Compare different readerly realisations of characters
Explain the conceptual mechanisms involved in fiction
Discuss comparable experiences of immersion
Evaluate the use of cognitive science in literary experience
This free online course offers an introduction to the field known as cognitive poetics – applying cognitive science (the study of the mind and its processes) to how we read literature.
Understand cognitive poetics: what happens in our minds when we read
Taking our best current knowledge of how our minds and language work, we will ask some key questions about reading literature:
Why do we feel anything for fictional characters?
Why do we get angry, moved, irritated, annoyed or sentimental about imaginary people in imaginary worlds?
And why do the lives of fictional characters matter so much to readers?
The answers to these questions are surprising and empowering, and as we explore each, we will introduce you to some key concepts from psychology, linguistics and philosophy.
In advance of the course starting you can join the conversation using #FLread or follow lead educator @PeterJStockwell on Twitter.
the application of cognitive science in understanding literary reading
Theory of Mind, characterisation and empathy
building a fictional world, using text world theory
prototypicality, and the richness of fictional people
the nature of fictional minds and real minds
the experience of engaging with fictional people
understanding literary immersion, distraction and transportation
the textual patterns that help to achieve effective fictional characters
There are no previous requirements needed to take part in this course.