Reconceptualizing Processes in Transformative Reading

Olivia Fialho*, J. van Zundert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventIGEL 2023 - Diocesan museum, Monopoli, Italy
Duration: 27 Sept 202330 Sept 2023


ConferenceIGEL 2023


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