The Narrative Encounters Project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and based at the Department of English at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria. The project will run from October 2018 to September 2021.

Photo Credit: Juan Alvarez-Ajamil

Cognitive approaches to cultural texts are increasingly gaining currency in contemporary debates in literary and cultural studies; yet they have often been criticized for focusing too narrowly on the interaction between a text and a single, highly abstract reader, and for disregarding both actual readers and the larger historical, political, and cultural context in which a text is produced and consumed. The Narrative Encounters Project aims at bridging some of the perceived gaps between cognitive narratology and more context and politically oriented approaches, thereby continuing and expanding the research work I have been engaged in over the past ten years. The project will use a cognitive approach to explore the narrative strategies employed in a range of ethnic American literary production—specifically by African American, Chicano/a, and Muslim American writers—with a special emphasis on empathy, affect, and emotion in both the production and the reception of such texts. The central aim of the project is to develop a cognitive approach that helps us to investigate the role of empathy and emotion in the literary mediation of ethnic and cultural difference and to gain a better understanding of what larger cultural repercussions such imaginary engagement may have in the contemporary political climate of the United States.

Photo Credit: Juan Alvarez-Ajamil


Guest Lecture on U.S. Immigration History by Andrew Urban

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 12:00 in HS10 English Department, University of Klagenfurt U.S. Immigration History and the Contemporary Politics of Immigration Control The first portion of this talk will explore contemporary debates about immigration and asylum policies in the US, and the resurgence of xenophobia, racism, and nativism in American culture. Among the questions…

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Workshop with Wojciech Malecki on Empirical Methods in Literary Studies

Wednesday, November 21, 2018, 10:30-11:30 English Department, University of Klagenfurt Based on his extensive experiences in the empirical study of literary texts with an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and biologists at the University of Wroclaw, Wojciech Malecki will discuss with the Narrative Encounters team how we can study the attitudinal impact of stories experimentally. Why…

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Die Presse – Romane als Wunderwaffe gegen Diskriminierung?

von Cornelia Grobner Die Amerikanistin Alexa Weik von Mossner untersucht ethnische amerikanische Literatur. In einem dreijährigen Projekt beleuchtet sie die Rolle von Empathie und Emotion beim Schreiben und Lesen von Fiktion. „Sie bringen Drogen, sie bringen Kriminalität, sie sind Vergewaltiger.“ Donald Trump ist nicht zimperlich, wenn er über Migranten oder Minderheiten spricht. Nicht selten mischen…

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