FB 05 – The Visceral Novel Reader

Welcome to “The Visceral Novel Reader”, the DFG-funded research project (Sept. 2019-Feb.2023) led by  Dr. Monika Class (Juniorprofessor). It examines the creative co-production of reading at the Department of English and Linguistics of the University of Mainz, Germany!

The project examines how readers can bring to bear on the novels they engage with all their sensory imaginings including their past perceptions in a way that brings the narrated events, figures and settings to life. Based on the phenomenological belief that our five senses constitute our lived body as we subjectively experience it (Merleau-Ponty 2012), the present project calls this kind of novel reading “embodied”. The study examines such embodied novel reading from the Restoration period until literary Modernism (1688-1927).

“The Visceral Novel Reader" is a context-sensitive model designed for the diachronic study of embodied novel reading, focusing on the manner in which readers' bodies and senses transform and are transformed by novels. The first iteration of the project was published by Monika Class under the title "The Visceral Novel Reader and Novelised Medicine".