Julia Vaeßen: Cultural Models and the Construction of Literary Character
Montag, 18.06.2018, 18.00 Uhr
in H11, C.A.R.L.
Characters are arguably one of the most important elements of (narrative) literature and, for this very reason, also one of the best test cases for advances in literary theory. In this talk, I will introduce a revised and updated conception of cultural models as a central element in understanding reception processes. I will show that cultural models, in this updated form, are constitutive in readers' mental and emotional engagement with characters and allow to integrate recent research on perspective, theory of mind and embodied engagement into a holistic theory of literary character. What is more, I argue that, on a more abstract level, cultural models help us overcome the growing divide between first- and second-generation approaches in cognitive literary studies and open up this field to meaningful empirical research.
About Julia Vaeßen
Julia Vaeßen is post-doc researcher and lecturer at RWTH Aachen University's Department of English, American and Romance Studies, where she has recently completed her PhD summa cum laude.
Specialising in cognitive literary studies, her dissertation explores the role of cultural models in literary character construction as well as their potential in overcoming the growing divide between first- and second-generation approaches in cognitive literary studies.
She is one of the founding members of the Aachen Research Team on Cognitive Literary Studies (ART CogLit). Other research interests include narratology, empirical approaches to literary studies, and contemporary British literature. She has published on contemporary poetry and prose from a cognitive reader-response perspective.