Students’ experiences with LCE courses spring 2020

Read what students in literary studies and psychology say about LCE courses.

LCE offered a broad selection of courses in spring 2020. Olivia Da Costa Fialho, Postdoctoral Fellow with LCE, taught one of the modules in PSY2102, as well as being responsible for the course LIT4310 together with Alexandra Effe. Here, Olivia first says a few words on the courses themselves, and then students tell about their experiences.


PSY2102: Social Cognition and Emotions

LCE Module on Transformative Reading

Instructor: Olivia Fialho

We often say that literature can change your life, but the specific mechanisms underlying this process are rarely discussed. In this module, we study ways in which we interact with storyworlds, with characters, how they think and feel, and a wealth of complex social interactions that, ultimately, changes the reader.   


“As a keen reader of fiction and student of clinical psychology, this interdisciplinary approach was thematically appealing. During the seminars we got to interact with a literary text – and its protagonist Miss Brill – in ways that emphasized different aspects of identification, enactment imagery and sympathy. The module has given me interesting insight in social cognitive themes, in addition to being relevant for my future work as a psychologist – and reader of fiction.”

Magnus Hole Fjetland


“As a bachelor student with a penchant for research and thinking about ways to help society as whole, the module showed me a link between the literature I so love and the emotions I have experienced while reading it. It made me understand how it could be that when finishing a book, I would feel sorrow, or that I would cheer for the bad guy. It showed me how one might be able to use literature to increase human empathy, perspective taking, and increasing our theory of mind. In regard to helping society, I would be hard pressed to mention a better tool to apply than to enable us to achieve exactly these things.”

                                                                                                       Andreas Næss Breinstein


LIT4310: Cognitive Literary Study

Instructors: Alexandra Effe and Olivia Fialho

Cognitive Literary Study brings literary theory together with psychology and neuroscience to explore how literature might engage, shape and connect our thoughts and feelings, both individually and collectively. This course covers many of the diverse approaches in this field and reflect upon the insights they promise for the analyses of literary texts and for understanding how we think and feel.


“My experience with this course was eye-opening. The LIT4310-course dealt with a wide variety of themes and subjects, making apparent how terms such as “the Virtual Body”, “Experientiality” and “Theory of Mind” are all anticipated in literature, going far back, but are seldom part of the literary vocabulary. And to me, this was the most valuable knowledge: gaining a vocabulary that enables me to discuss the processes of reading, and the potential effects of literature. Reading certain parts of the curriculum resembled the reading of one’s favourite philosophers all anew, creating a completely new perspective of how the arts might be perceived. To encounter a field still “in the making” was very refreshing. To see research that is alive and might look different in only a short number of years was to me very encouraging. The emotive-turn has already made its impact on literary studies, and taking an LCE-course, I think, is a good way of participating in this movement.”

Matias Keyson Buestad

Published May 18, 2020 6:08 AM - Last modified July 1, 2022 10:33 AM