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. The project uses a cognitive approach to explore the narrative strategies employed in a range of ethnic American literary production—specifically by African American, Chicanx and Muslim American writers—with a special emphasis on empathy, affect, and emotion. 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.


Header Photo Credit: Juan Alvarez-Ajamil

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Cognition and Chicanx Culture: An Interview with Frederick Luis Aldama- Part III

By Mario Grill <Part II Moving us Toward a Tomorrow MG: Thank you for that very insightful response and you mention a lot that has diminished and discriminated certain communities. That is also something you argue in your Conversations on Cognitive Cultural Studies with Patrick Colm Hogan (2014). Both of you agree that such narratives…

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Cognition and Chicanx Culture: An Interview with Frederick Luis Aldama- Part II

By Mario Grill < Part I Identity and Borders MG: When analyzing Coco or any Chicanx texts there’s the use of multiple languages and how this enriches Chicanx narratives in ways that we might not find in other ethnic American literatures. I’m thinking of how Chicanx narratives construct through and across Spanish and English double-identities.…

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Workshop with Fulbright Scholar Matthew Teutsch: Encountering African American Literature in the Classroom

Encountering African American Literature in the Classroom: Workshop with Matthew Teutsch Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 15:00-16:30 English Department, University of Klagenfurt Based on several of his publications, Matthew Teutsch will discuss with the Narrative Encounters team how teaching African American literature might help students gain a better understanding of the ways in which the past…

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Guest Lecture on U.S. Immigration History by Fulbright Scholar 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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