The ‘Talking About Texts’ Project

We’re pleased and excited to be able to share this research talk by Dr Jessica Mason (Senior Lecturer in English Language, Sheffield Hallam University) with you, which was hosted (via Zoom) by the ‘Centre for Language and Linguistics’ at the University of Kent on 6th May 2020.

The talk takes you through some of the ideas and findings that will appear in StudyingFiction‘s forthcoming book!

Click the image or below to access the video.

Zoom YouTube Thumbnail TAT UniofKent

NB/CORRECTION: At 26:00 I accidentally say ’88 *percent* of participants said’ where I should have said ’88 *participants* said’. The data is correctly displayed on the slide.

The talk explores some initial findings from the ‘Talking About Texts’ study, an anonymous questionnaire completed by 650 participants. Respondents shared their experiences of the relationships that can exist between reading and discussing books, and our sense of identity, covering topics such as honesty and dishonesty, embarrassment and judgement in relation to talking about texts.

In particular, it considers how pressures on English teachers and academics to present as prolific readers can shape perceptions of the subject, and what it means to be good at it. It will explore talk about texts as a socially and culturally loaded aspect of reading, which often requires individuals to disclose whether or not they are familiar with specific works and their attitudes towards them.

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