Reconceptualizing Processes in Transformative Reading

  • Olivia Da Costa Fialho (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic


Drawing on the dehabituation theory of literature (Miall, 2006), transformative reading (Fialho, 2019) is grounded on a notion of literariness characterized by three key components of response to literary texts: foregrounded textual or narrative features, readers’ defamiliarizing responses to them, and the consequent modification of personal meanings. This study focuses on the third key component, exploring what forms of reading transform the reader’s self as well as his or her perceptions of others. A total of 78 thematic semi-structured in-depth interviews on a short story (Study 1, N=48) and on books that have
changed readers’ lives (Study 2, N=30) were conducted with native speakers of English. Data analysis followed Lex-Nap methodology (Fialho, 2012). Preliminary findings indicate a replication of previous results. Types of transformative reading seem to be two-fold: “situation-centered” and “protagonist-centered”, providing a fuller description of how literary reading might impact and modify readers’ self-other constructs.
Period29 Sept 2023
Event titleIGEL 2023: Rhythm, Speed, Path: Spatiotemporal Experiences in Narrative, Poetry, and Drama
Event typeConference
Conference number19th
LocationMonopoly, ItalyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational