Immersion Symposium

University Park Campus University of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD
Friday 26th April 2024 (09:00-17:00)
Registration URL

In literary reading, the feeling of ‘immersion’ in the world of the text has been recognised as a key experience for readers. The phenomenon has been understood in literary linguistics and cognitive poetics by a variety of terms: absorption (Hakemulder), transportation (Gerrig), imaginative recentring (Ryan), aesthetic illusion (Wolf), cognitive flow (Csikszentmihaly), and even as the suspension of disbelief (Coleridge). Immersion is the feeling of engagement when a reader loses sensory and cognitive contact with their surroundings, in favour of the environment of the imagined world into which they are casting their mind. It is a combined process involving text and consciousness.

In this one-day symposium, we invite researchers to discuss the experience of immersion in literary reading. We welcome any approach or perspective within the broad field of literary linguistics. Exemplary topics include but are not limited to:

  • the relationship between immersion and world-building
  • the relationship between immersion and cognitive reception
  • the relationship between immersion and characterisation
  • immersion, multimodality, transmediality
  • the readerly experience of immersion
  • immersion and authorship
  • innovative empirical or corpus approaches to immersion and cognition 

Presentations may be given in person or online as preferred. Please send a short title and abstract (max 250 words) before 29 February to:

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900