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Social and Emotional Literacy

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1 Social and Emotional Literacy
Peter Stockwell University of Nottingham

2 [W]e should not expect literary theory to yield anything fundamentally new in its own field: we will continue paraphrasing Aristotle’s basic insights. I can see only one possibility for moving beyond what has long since been known: interdisciplinary engagement with the advancement of knowledge in other disciplines, at present above all a new field that has emerged only recently and consists of the philosophy of mind, psychological cognitivism, the affective sciences, cognitive linguistics, and neurological brain research – a cognitive turn to follow the linguistic one. If I were a young scholar starting my career now, I would probably embrace this transdisciplinary field and set myself the aim of developing literary theory into a cognitive poetics. (Harald Fricke 2007: 193)

3 Cognitive Poetics informativity: comprehension meaning aesthetics: reception and texture feeling ethics: schemas and worlds value ~ The application of cognitive science to understanding literary reading ~ Key concepts include prototypicality, embodiment, metaphorical projection ~ Treats reading as natural and within an ecology of language ~ Part of a literary-linguistic ( = stylistics) tradition > part of applied linguistics ~ Allows both social and individual dimensions to be theorised ~ Argues for renewed paradigms in literary scholarship ~ Accommodates artistic sensibility and scientific rationalism ~ Offers discipline, system and currency ~ Reasserts a humanistic perspective on the communicative arts

4 Psychology Cognitive Poetics Stability of personality:
Open Conscientious Extroverted Agreeable Neurotic The power of creative imagination: projection adaptability plasticity - of personality - of fictional minds ~ The application of cognitive science to understanding literary reading ~ Key concepts include prototypicality, embodiment, metaphorical projection ~ Treats reading as natural and within an ecology of language ~ Part of a literary-linguistic ( = stylistics) tradition > part of applied linguistics ~ Allows both social and individual dimensions to be theorised ~ Argues for renewed paradigms in literary scholarship ~ Accommodates artistic sensibility and scientific rationalism ~ Offers discipline, system and currency ~ Reasserts a humanistic perspective on the communicative arts Inflexibility of personality: curiosity ethical sense communicativeness empathy self-confidence

5 Emotional recognition
resonance atmosphere tone forcefulness intensity richness feelings towards characters - amusement - dislike - affection - arousal - sympathy - empathy …

6 – Reading as control (‘The weave of the daughter’s life in modern San Francisco and her mother’s life in China holds you right to the end’, ‘It’s gripping stuff’, ‘I couldn’t put it down’) – Reading as transportation / journey (‘We follow the boy on his journey round the world’, ‘... quite a few battle scenes which I found slightly heavy going’) – Reading as investment (‘By the end I was emotionally drained but rewarded by it’, ‘It rewards your effort with a great payoff at the end’, ‘Well worth the investment – emotional and financial!’, ‘You get more out of it on each reading’, ‘If you can take a chance by putting a lot of energy into the first half, then the rest of the book is a real page-turner’, ‘Worth the effort’)

7 A conceptual net for INVESTMENT
Individual investment Social investment (literary stance) (sympathy) ownership of resources transfer resources at work initial loss effort return risk faith flow trust anticipation improvement

8 World-switches shift of deictic projection
Discourse world NEG MET Text world FBK HYP MOD World-switches shift of deictic projection Participant-accessibility emotional involvement and distance Cognitive repair sense of richness and intensity

9 Hanc tibi, Fronto pater, genetrix Flaccilla, puellam      oscula commendo deliciasque meas, paruola ne nigras horrescat Erotion umbras      oraque Tartarei prodigiosa canis. Impletura fuit sextae modo frigora brumae,      uixisset totidem ni minus illa dies. Inter tam ueteres ludat lasciua patronos      et nomen blaeso garriat ore meum. Mollia non rigidus caespes tegat ossa nec illi,      terra, grauis fueris: non fuit illa tibi. Epigrams, Book V, No.34 Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis) (AD 40 – c.100?) Henry George Bohn ( ) – British editor and publisher Peter Whigham ( ) – British author and translator Rose Williams – American writer and teacher Peter Porter (b.1929) – Australian poet Robert Louis Stevenson ( )

10 Mother and sire, to you do I commend
Tiny Erotion, who must now descend, A child, among the shadows, and appear Before Hell’s bandog and hell’s gondolier. Of six hoar winters she had felt the cold, But lacked six days of being six years old. Now she must come, all playful, to that place Where the great ancients sit with reverend face; Now lisping, as she used, of whence she came, Perchance she names and stumbles at my name. O’er these so fragile bones, let there be laid A plaything for a turf; and for that maid That swam light-footed as the thistle-burr On thee, O Mother earth, be light on her. Robert Louis Stevenson

11 On My First Daughter Here lies to each her parents’ ruth, Mary, the daughter of their youth: Yet, all heaven’s gifts, being heaven’s due, It makes the father, less to rue. At six months’ end, she parted hence With safety of her innocence; Whose soul heaven’s queen, (whose name she bears) In comfort of her mother’s tears, Hath placed amongst her virgin-train: Where, while that sever’d doth remain, This grave partakes the fleshly birth. Which cover lightly, gentle earth. Ben Jonson ( )

12 On My First Son Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sin was too much hope of thee, lov’d boy, Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I lose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envy? To have so soon ’scaped world’s and flesh’s rage, And if no other misery, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask’d, say here doth lie Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetry. For whose sake, henceforth, all his vows be such, As what he loves may never like too much. Ben Jonson

13 Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Constance: Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form; Then I have reason to be fond of grief. Fare you well. Had you such a loss as I, I could give better comfort than you do. [She unbinds her hair] I will not keep this form upon my head When there is such disorder in my wit. O Lord, my boy, my Arthur, my fair son, My life, my joy, my food, my all the world, My widow-comfort, and my sorrow’s cure! [Exit] William Shakespeare (1596), King John (III. iv )

14 Discourse world Text world Constance
Shakespeare via actor playing Constance World switch Grief as Arthur ‘Arthur’ lies in… walks… with me puts on… repeats… remembers me… stuffs out… Text world Constance Constance grieving Theatre audience

15 Though my mother was already two years dead
Long Distance Though my mother was already two years dead Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas, put hot water bottles her side of the bed and still went to renew her transport pass. You couldn’t just drop in. You had to phone. He’d put you off an hour to give him time to clear away her things and look alone as though his still raw love were such a crime. He couldn’t risk my blight of disbelief though sure that very soon he’d hear her key scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief. He knew she’d just popped out to get the tea. I believe life ends with death, and that is all. You haven’t both gone shopping; just the same, in my new black leather phone book there’s your name and the disconnected number I still call. Tony Harrison (1978) Though my mother as though his still raw love though sure that very soon just the same T1: Father/mother/son, going shopping, popping out to get the tea T2: Mother dies T3: 2 years later, son regards father: re-iterated events (with micro-shift of ‘one hour’) T4: Father dies T5: son writes poem. Poem sequence: T3 tw - (T2 ws) - T3 tw (T1 ws) – T5 tw - (T4 ws)

16 Death of a Son (who died in a mental hospital aged one) And bricks for blood. A house Of stones and blood in breathing silence with the other Something has ceased to come along with me. Birds singing crazy on its chimneys. Something like a person: something very like one. But this was silence, And there was no nobility in it Or anything like that. This was something else, this was Hearing and speaking though he was a house drawn Something was there like a one year Into silence, this was Old house, dumb as stone. While the near buildings Something religious in his silence, Sang like birds and laughed Understanding the pact Something shining in his quiet, This was different this was altogether something else: They were to have with silence. But he Though he never spoke, this Neither sang nor laughed. He did not bless silence Was something to do with death. Like bread, with words. He did not forsake silence. And then slowly the eye stopped looking Inward. The silence rose and became still. But rather, like a house in mourning The look turned to the outer place and stopped, Kept the eye turned in to watch the silence while With the birds still shrilling around him. The other houses like birds And as if he could speak Sang around him. He turned over on his side with his one year And the breathing silence neither Red as a wound Moved nor was still. He turned over as if he could be sorry for this I have seen stones: I have seen brick And out of his eyes two great tears rolled, like stones, and he died. But this house was made up of neither bricks nor stone Jon Silkin (1954) But a house of flesh and blood With flesh of stone

17 degree of attenuation minimal maximal LIFE LITERATURE
Simulation = the principle of cognitive projection ~ attenuation from life to literary worlds ~ Personality is ‘soft assembled’ ~ Imagination gives us a projective capacity ~ Empathy (etc.) can be understood practised taught degree of attenuation minimal maximal LIFE LITERATURE


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