Carnegie Mellon University

Empathy and Immersion Reading (on paper and on screen)

Empathy and Immersion Reading (on paper and on screen)

Monday, October 8
12:00 pm
Kedia-Tayur Seminar room, Tepper 4242

This lecture addresses how and why immersion reading of narrative fiction may invite higher levels of narrative empathy than other kinds of reading? It queries how important the modality of reading may be to both immersion reading and empathy, asking how does our reading experiences change when we shift from codex to e-reader to interactive screen?

Suzanne Keen is Dean of the Faculty at Hamilton College. She works on narrative empathy. Her work draws on novels, narrative theory, neuroscience, developmental and social psychology, and affective science. Since writing Empathy and the Novel (2007), she has expanded on her theory of narrative empathy in articles and chapters treating authorial strategic narrative empathy, readers’ dispositions, empathetic techniques in graphic narratives, and narrative empathy evoked by nonfiction. Her current work investigates narrative personal distress, an aversive response to reading, and empathic inaccuracy. Her most recent book, Thomas Hardy’s Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy’s Imagination (2014), was short-listed for Phi Beta Kappa’s Christian Gauss Award.

Suzanne Keen will also be speaking at City of Asylum’s Alphabet City, 40 W North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA  15212, on Sunday, Oct. 7, 6:00-7:15. Her title is “Relatable: Empathy, Novels, and Picky Readers.”