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Andrew Elfenbein, “Cognitive Science and the History of Reading” (2006) Transliteracies Research Report

Elfenbein’s article, appearing in the March 2006 PMLA, attempts to bring together the disciplines of cognitive psychology and literary criticism in order to understand historical reading processes.

“Cognitive psychologists, like literary critics, have spent many years wrestling with the complexities of the reading process. Yet psychologists and critics ask fundamentally different questions about reading because their fields have contrasting methods of defining, analyzing, investigating, and evaluating it. As a result, the terms of one discipline do not apply directly to the other. Creating an interaction between the two requires constant, often skeptical translation across disciplinary boundaries. This essay will concern itself with developing such a translation, using it to investigate the history of reading audiences, and drawing conclusions about the significance of the scientific study of reading for literary critics.”

Starter Links and Resources:
Elfenbein, Andrew. “Cognitive Science and the History of Reading.” PMLA. 121.2 (2006): 484 – 500. | Cognitive Science, Humanities, and the Arts.

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Kim Knight

  tl, 08.18.06

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