Olivia Da Costa Fialho
I specialize in the Empirical and Interdisciplinary Study of the Literary Experience and seek insights from interdisciplinary domains to study the personal and social impact of reading and promote its benefits to people’s lives. My interests are in Comparative Literature, Cognitive Poetics, Modernism, Phenomenology, Narratology, Literary Awareness, Literature Education, Pedagogical Stylistics, Psychology, and Business.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Letters (Portuguese-English), a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics, both from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (2005, with distinction), and a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta in Canada (2012), where I also worked as lecturer until 2011. In my doctoral dissertation, I studied self-modifying reading and developed a phenomenological and linguistic model, based on lexical repetition and theme modification, called Lexical Basis for Numerically Aided Phenomenology (or Lex-Nap). This model enables inductive examination of reading experiences and involves a hybrid of qualitative and quantitative methods. It traces how readers embody repositioning as reading unfolds.
My doctoral dissertation inspired the project “Uses of Literary Narrative Fiction in Social Contexts: Changes in Self and Social Perceptions,” awarded a grant by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO), which enabled the continuation of my research at Utrecht University. There, I collaborated with a team of literary scholars, educationalists, and organization psychologists, applying my model of transformative reading (2018) in upper secondary school level and the workplace. At Utrecht University I currently act as Assistant Professor of Leadership.
For more on my research and publications, see the list below and my profile at Research Gate
My current project Transformative Reading at ILOS further develops the phenomenology, preconditions and underlying processes of how literary narrative fiction deepens perceptions of self and others. It argues that the essence of literature (and the arts) lies in its power to impart knowledge about ourselves and other human beings by allowing us to connect more deeply and conscientiously with our emotions, and, thus improve our social functioning. It combines research and implementations of scientific findings as it holds that successful implementation depends on better understanding how the process of experiencing literary narratives unfolds; in particular, how a combination of text, reader, and context factors (e.g., instructional method, the type of post-processing or reflection on the reading) might result in deeper understandings of who we are in relation to other fellow human beings.
Please find more information on the project’s objectives, upcoming events and research results on the project website.
In recent years, I have developed approaches to reading to promote meaningfulness, empathy, and authentic leadership, making scientific findings applicable to social contexts. I have been working towards building bridges between academic and non-academic contexts.
For more on transformative reading workshops on the awareness of empathy in fiction and in life in business settings, see Inner Academy
Awards and Grants
- 2014, Co-writer Uses of Narrative Fiction in Social Contexts: Changes in Self and Social Perceptions, NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), The Netherlands (€850,000)
- 2010, Andrew Stewart Memorial Graduate Prize, during doctoral studies, FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research), University of Alberta, Canada.
- 2008, Mary Shore Graduate Scholarship, during doctoral studies, FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research), University of Alberta, Canada.
- 2008, J. Gordin Kaplan Graduate Student Award, during doctoral studies, FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research), University of Alberta, Canada.
- 2006-2007, FS Chia Scholarship, to fund doctoral studies, FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research), University of Alberta, Canada.
- 2005-2006, FS Chia Scholarship, to fund doctoral studies, FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research), University of Alberta, Canada.
- 2004-2005, Co-writer From Paper to Screen, Instituto Telemar de Educação Award (Instituto Telemar Education Award), Instituto Telemar de Educação, Brazil (approx. CAN 26,000)
- 2004-2005. CAPES Scholarship, to fund Masters studies, CAPES, Brazilian Government
- 2003-2004. CAPES Scholarship, to fund Masters studies, CAPES, Brazilian Government
- 2002-2003, PIBIC Scholarship, to fund Scientific Initiation studies, CNPq, Brazilian Government
- 2001, SBPC Award, during Scientific Initiation studies, SBPC, Brazilian Government
- 2001-2002, PIBIC Scholarship, to fund Scientific Initiation studies, CNPq, Brazilian Government
- 2000, Best paper PIBIC/CNPq. XXII Jornada de Iniciação Científica XII Jornada de Iniciação Artística e Cultural, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- 2018-2019, Assistant Professor & External Coordinator Leadership, Honours College, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- 2014-2017, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- 2013-2014, Assistant Professor, Academic Core Department, University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- 2008-2011, Instructor, Comparative Literature Program, Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Alberta, Canada
- PSY2102 Social cognition and emotion: Transformative Reading module
- LIT4340A/LIT4340B Litterært tekststudium I: Transformative Books
- LIT4310A/LIT4310B Litteraturteoretisk studium I: Cognitive Literary Study
- LIT2300 Litteraturteoretisk emne: Literary Studies - Theory and Science
- Santos, Diana; Alves, Daniel; Amaro, Raquel; Branco, Isabel Araújo; Fialho, Olivia; Freitas, Cláudia; Higuchi, Suemi; Langfeldt, Marcia Caetano; Lopes, João Alberto Marques; Santos, Alckmar Luiz dos; Pires, Emanoel; Ramos, Barbara; Sanches, Danielle; Schumacher Eder Fuão, Rebeca; Pereira, Paulo Silva & Terra, Paula (2020). Leitura Distante em Português: resumo do primeiro encontro. MatLit (Centro de Literatura Portuguesa da Universidade de Coimbra). ISSN 2182-8830. 8(1), s 279- 298 . doi: 10.14195/2182-8830_8-1_16 Full text in Research Archive.
- Fialho, Olivia (2019). What is literature for? The role of transformative reading. Cogent Arts & Humanities. ISSN 2331-1983. 6(1), s 1- 16 . doi: 10.1080/23311983.2019.1692532 Full text in Research Archive.
- Schrijvers, Marloes; Janssen, Tania; Fialho, Olivia & Rijlaarsdam, Gert (2019). Toward the validation of a literature classroom intervention to foster adolescents' insights into human nature: an iterative design process.. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature. ISSN 1567-6617. . doi: 10.17239/L1ESLL-2016.16.04.01
- Schrijvers, Marloes; Janssen, Tanja; Da Costa Fialho, Olivia; de Maeyer, Sven & Rijlaarsdam, Gert (2019). Transformative Dialogic Literature Teaching fosters adolescents’ insight into human nature and motivation. Learning and Instruction. ISSN 0959-4752. 63, s 1- 15 . doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101216
- Schrijvers, Marloes; Janssen, Tanja; Fialho, Olivia & Rijlaarsdam, Gert (2019). Gaining Insight Into Human Nature: A Review of Literature Classroom Intervention Studies. Review of Educational Research. ISSN 0034-6543. 89(1), s 3- 45 . doi: 10.3102/0034654318812914
- Schrijvers, Marloes; Janssen, Tania; Fialho, Olivia & Rijlaarsdam, Gert (2016). The impact of literature education on students’ perceptions of self and others: Exploring personal and social learning experiences in relation to teacher approach.. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature. ISSN 1567-6617. . doi: 10.17239/L1ESLL-2016.16.04.01
- Fialho, Olivia; Zyngier, Sonia & Miall, David S. (2011). Interpretation and Experience: Two Pedagogical Interventions Observed.. English in Education. ISSN 0425-0494. 45(3), s 236- 253 . doi: 10.1111/j.1754-8845.2011.01103.x
- Zyngier, Sonia & Fialho, Olivia (2010). Pedagogical Stylistics, Literary Awareness an Empowerment: A Critical Perspective.. Language and Literature. ISSN 0963-9470. 19(1), s 13- 33 . doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947009356717
- Fialho, Olivia (2007). Foregrounding and Refamiliarization: Understanding Readers' Response to Literary Texts.. Language and Literature. ISSN 0963-9470. 16(2), s 105- 163 . doi: 10.1177/0963947007075979
- Fialho, Olivia (2007). In the Hedgehog’s Den: A Report of the X International Congress of IGEL. Zeitschrift für Medienpsychologie. ISSN 1617-6383. 19(1), s 39
- Fialho, Olivia & Jandre, Juliana (2006). Literary texts and happiness: a possible relation? A study on foregrounding and flow.. Revista Intercâmbio. ISSN 1806-275X. XV
- Fialho, Olivia (2002). O Processo de Conscientização Literária: Um Estudo Empírico. Caderno de Letras: Revista do Departamento de Letras Anglo- Germânicas. Rio de Janeiro. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Letras e Artes, Faculdade de Letras. ISSN 1413-0238. 18(18), s 103- 112
- Burke, Michael; Fialho, Olivia & Zyngier, Sonia (2016). Scientific Approaches to Literature in Learning Environments. John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN 9789027234131. 309 s.
- Fialho, Olivia (2019). The Benefits of Reading.
- Fialho, Olivia (2019). Transformative Reading in the Classroom: Introducing TDL, Transformative Dialogic Teaching..
- Fialho, Olivia (2019). Transformative Reading: Changing Insights into Self and Other..
- Fialho, Olivia (2019). Transformative Reading: Gaining Insight into the Story, the Self and the Other..
- Fialho, Olivia & Igl, Natalia (2019). Workshop on Empirical Approaches to Joint Attention and Reader Engagement.
- Fialho, Olivia & Kukkonen, Karin (2019). Reading Workshop Organizers.
- Fialho, Olivia & Laukholm Sandvik, Ragnhild (2019, 21. april). Når kunsten river huden av deg. [Internett]. https://www.nrk.no/kultur/xl/nar-kunsten-river-huden-av-deg-.