This Autumn, the School of English is welcoming several new members of staff, who we’ll be highlighting one by one throughout the semester.
Our first new member of staff to be profiled is Dr. Jessica Mason, who recently successfully defended her Ph.D.thesis, titled ‘Narrative Interrelation: A Cognitive Model of Intertextuality and its Application to the Study of Literature’.
Jessica describes her research as: “[applying] concepts from cognitive linguistics to the education context, looking specifically at studying fiction in secondary school English. I’m interested in the ways in which readers connect different literary texts and experiences, focusing particularly on how readers make and understand intertextual references. My thesis develops a ‘narrative interrelation framework’, a cognitive model of intertextuality, which can be engaged as an analytical tool to examine both texts and reader discourse. The research explores the nature of the reading experience in the English Literature classroom using a 320,000 word corpus of lesson transcripts comprising two complete ‘class reader units’. It also looks contrastively at a second smaller corpus of 40,000 words comprising discussions of an adult reading group discussing the same texts.”
Jessica was recently awarded the 2015 Terry Furlong Award for Research by the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), which is not only an honour, but came with a rather snazzy looking award!
Jessica’s most recent presentation was an invited guest lecture earlier this week, called ‘A Room full of readers?’ It was given at the postgraduate ‘Cognition and learning’ seminar group, held at the University of Nottingham. If you’re interested in seeing the slides from Jessica’s talk, or learning about her other research papers and projects, see her profile on academia.edu here.
Welcome to the SoE, Jessica!