Has reading fiction ever made you laugh, cry, or feel something? How can words on a page create characters and represent fictional experiences to such an extent that we not only believe, but are moved by them?
A recent ‘boom’ in fiction representing dementia has inspired QUB researchers to investigate how the language is used gives an insight into the experience of people living with dementia. This interactive talk explores how dementia is represented in fictional language, how readers respond to it, and why.
The speaker is Dr Jane Lugea (Senior Lecturer of English Language at Queen’s University Belfast), who specialises in Stylistics, the language of literature. Dr Lugea is Principal Investigator on an ongoing AHRC-funded project, ‘Dementia in the minds of characters and readers’, which investigates how dementia is represented in literary language and how it offers a window into understanding the condition. The project benefits from the expertise of Co-Investigators Dr Gemma Carney (Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at QUB) and Dr Paula Devine (Co-Director of ARK Ageing Programme), as well as Dr Carolina Fernández Quintanilla. Writer and older people arts facilitator, Jan Carson, is curating a great range of outreach activities around the project’s themes: dementia, creative writing and reading, and understanding each other better through the power of narrative.