Podcast: Transformative Reading

Does fiction hold the power to change the life of its reader? In this episode, Affiliated Researcher at LCE and Postdoctoral Researcher at Huyghens-ING/KNAW, Olivia Fialho, presents her research on transformative reading. 

Olivia Fialho in the podcast studio.

Olivia Fialho. Photo: Joakim Magnus Taraldsen

Can reading fiction change us? In this podcast, Olivia Fialho, postdoctoral researcher at the Huyghens-ING/KNAW, Lecturer of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University, and Affiliated Researcher at LCE, explains the concept of transformative reading, from its roots in Aristotle through Russian Formalism, Phenomenology, and Reader Response theories. In conversation with Stijn Vervaet, she discusses how empirical methods can be used to study the interactions between reader and text. She addresses what devices literary texts use to attract and direct readers' attention, and what neurocognitive studies can tell us about how we read and how reading can affect us. Listen as Olivia uncovers how transformative reading has resulted in applications well beyond the field of literary studies and could potentially lead to radically different ways of teaching literature.

Olivia’s reading recommendation:
Voltaire: Candide, or the Optimist. (Candide, ou l’optimisme.)

Learn more about transformative reading in Olivia’s publication:
Fialho, Olivia. "What is literature for? The role of transformative reading." Cogent Arts & Humanities 6, no. 1 (2019): 1692532. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311983.2019.1692532

Post-production: Eivind Rutle

Written alternative

Listen to or download the episode here:

By Trine Ottosen
Published July 22, 2022 11:00 AM