Affective engagement with narrative
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This thesis takes the work of psychologists James Russell and Lisa Feldman Barrett on core affect and applies it to engagement with narrative. In the first part, I situate core affect in the philosophy of emotion and, drawing on the predictive-processing model of cognition, I explore valence and arousal, the two elements of core affect. The second part relies on Lawrence Barsalou’s research on situated conceptualisation to build a bridge from core affect in philosophy and psychology to affective engagement with narrative. Firstly, I argue that narratives present situated conceptualisations that readers access via their own conceptual frameworks. Secondly, I show that the way that conceptualisations are situated in the narrative can in part explain why readers affectively respond to narratives in the ways that they do. Thirdly, building on the work of R.G. Collingwood and Jenefer Robinson, I explore what it means for some narratives to express affect. In short, this thesis brings an increasingly influential theory of emotion, namely the psychological construction view of emotion, which holds that emotions are constructed out of core affect and emotion concepts, into conversation with models of affective engagement with narrative in aesthetics and offers a framework for thinking about readers’ affective responses to narratives.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2028-02-02
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 2nd February 2028
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