The reader at the heart of stylistics is a somewhat contentious concept. In narratology and semiotics theoretical readers abound, from the perfect reader, superreader, implied, ideal and model reader to interpretive communities and ghosts. As stylistics has evolved, the influence of cognitive and corpus methodologies has prompted discussion of an empiricised reader, while in cognitive poetics a concern for the ‘real reader’ is viewed as central to the effective analysis of literary texts. These different types of reader raise serious questions for the theory and practice of stylistics. Do all of these readers exist? More importantly perhaps, how do we get at them? This symposium addresses the methods and assumptions of research that deals with theoretical, empirical and real readers, and the bearing these may have on subsequent analytical practice. It aims to explore questions such as: What are the relative merits of speculative and empirical accounts? Is stylistic practice enriched or overcrowded by the co-existence of differently conceived readers? How successful are emergent analytic methodologies in accessing the interpretations and experiences of readers? Papers are invited for this one-day symposium. We are particularly looking for contributions that (1) explicitly attempt to link assumptions and practices, and (2) illustrate such links through specific textual analysis. Relevant topics include (but are not limited to): • Individual and social reading practices (e.g. reading groups, online blog/review data); • Empirical methodologies vs. introspective approaches; • Reading as text-controlled process; • Genre and reading strategies. Please submit an abstract of around 300 words, five keywords and a short 100-word biography by Tuesday 1st April. Abstract submissions should be included as a Word attachment and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include your name, affiliation, academic title and email address. Postgraduate and early-career researchers with interests in this discipline are especially encouraged to participate. Those who would like to attend the symposium without presenting a paper are welcome to do so and should confirm their attendance by email to email@example.com by Thursday 1st May. All participants will be notified by this date and online registration will be available shortly after. There is no registration fee; however, places are limited. Davide Castiglione Yaxiao Cui Arwa Hasan Jessica Mason Lorenzo Mastropierro Louise Nuttall Jennifer Sanchez-Davies Lizzie Stewart The Stylistics & Discourse Analysis Reading Group
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