Positioning readers (reading suggestions)


Reading time: 2 minutes

This reading list is designed to guide teachers towards further reading related to the digest on Peter Stockwell’s article ‘The positioned reader’.

  1. Michael Toolan (2001)

Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction, 2nd edn., London: Routledge.

This is an excellent introduction to narrative and so would be of interest to teachers generally. Chapter 3 offers an introduction to the relationship between author, reader, narrator and narratee, which would be useful for the study of Imagined worlds (A level), Views and voices (AS level).

  1. Peter Stockwell (2002)

Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction, London: Routledge.

This is the best introduction to the field of cognitive poetics, offering detailed explanations of a range of topics with suggestions for further reading. The opening chapter also explores the concept of literary reading from a stylistic perspective and offers some interesting insights on context and meaning that teachers might find useful to explore with their classes.

  1. Peter Stockwell (2009)

Texture: A Cognitive Aesthetics of Reading, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

This is a more advanced discussion of some of the topics in Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction, including an analysis using the concept of deictic braiding (chapter 4) and mind-modelling (chapter 5).

  1. Joanna Gavins (2007)

Text World Theory: An Introduction, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

 Gavins’ book is the best and most accessible introduction to Text World Theory, a model that aims to account for the ways in which readers are positioned to navigate various mental stances in the act of reading. The early chapters give a good overview of cognitive poetics and are also useful for their discussion of the role of contextual factors in various acts of communication.

  1. Marcello Giovanelli (2013)

Text World Theory and Keats’ Poetry: The Cognitive Poetics of Desire, Dreams and Nightmares, London: Bloomsbury Academic.

 This book is a detailed Text World Theory study of four of Keats’ poems. Chapters 5 and 9 in particular explore the ways that a detailed analysis of the text can demonstrate the kind of reader positioning that Stockwell argues for in his article.