Thursday 2 September 2010

Announcing A New Journal

An exciting announcement was made at the recent IGEL conference in Utrecht. (We have been enjoying some wonderful essays over the past few weeks from the "Stillness Contest" also presented at this meeting.) The society has decided to launch its own journal, entitled the Scientific Study of Literature (SSOL), publishing the very best empirical work on literature. Willie van Peer will act as head editor, working alongside Max Louwerse, Joan Peskin, and myself, as associate editors. Together we have assembled a very impressive review editorial board, which includes OnFiction's own Keith Oatley, along with some other names that might sound familiar to our readers (e.g., Steven Pinker, James Pennebaker). Below is a brief description of the journal from our publisher, John Benjamins:

Literature has an important role in human culture. Broadly interpreted, literature is defined as all cultural artefacts that make use of literary devices, such as narrativity, metaphoricity, symbolism. Its manifestations include novels, short stories, poetry, theatre, film, television, and, more recently, digital forms such as hypertext storytelling. This new journal, Scientific Study of Literature (SSOL), will publish empirical studies that apply scientific stringency to cast light on the structure and function of literary phenomena. The journal welcomes contributions from many disciplinary perspectives (psychological, developmental, cross-cultural, cognitive, neuroscience, computational, and educational) to deepen our understanding of literature, literary processes, and literary applications.

Our first issue should appear mid-2011, and will include a number of short pieces from leaders in the field with their thoughts on the future of the empirical study of literature. It promises to be an exciting collection. Members of IGEL receive the journal for free, so if you are interested in these topics please consider becoming a member of this society. More importantly, if you are a researcher, please consider submitting something to our new journal!

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