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alice bell

Dr Alice Bell



My research specialisms are stylistics (including cognitive poetics), narratology (including possible worlds theory), and digital fiction. Throughout my work I develop systematic approaches for the analysis of (mostly digital) texts and investigate ways that digital technologies affect fiction and fictionality.

My teaching reflects my research interests and I teach on a range of modules and supervise postgraduate students across the English programme.

  • About

    I am the Principal Investigator of an AHRC-funded project entitled Reading Digital Fiction which runs from January 2014 to June 2017 (Co-I: Prof Astrid Ensslin, Bangor University). The project has two core aims. First, it aims to introduce more readers to digital fiction and we are organising various public events including workshops, exhibitions, and a writing competition to introduce people to this exciting new form of literature. Secondly, as cognitive stylisticians and narratologists, we are interested in how readers process particular narratological, linguistic, multimodal and interactive features in digital fiction including second-person narration and literary hyperlinks. We are therefore conducting several reader-response studies to collect data from readers in order to understand how digital literary reading works cognitively.

    I also research 'unnatural narratology' which is an area of narrative theory that seeks to develop methods for texts that present physically or logically impossible scenarios or events. Drawing on my primary interest in digital fiction, I explore ways in which a digital context can alter the way in which unnatural elements operate - particularly second-person narration, narrative contradiction, and metalepsis. I am currently working on a book entitled Digital Fiction and Unnatural Narrative (co-authored with Astrid Ensslin).

    Stylistics, narrative theory, digital literature, possible worlds theory, fiction and ontology

  • Teaching

    Department of Humanities

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    Reading Digital Fiction


    BA English, BA English Language, BA Creative Writing, MA by Research

    • Language and Literature
    • Language and the Internet
    • Experimental Writing
    • Describing Language

  • Research

    • Art and Design Research Centre, Humanities Research Centre

    Reading Digital Fiction (2014-2017) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

    WALLPAPER funded by Sheffield Hallam University and Arts Council, England.

    External Funding

    June 2014: £243,159 from AHRC Research Grant scheme as PI for ‘Reading Digital Fiction’. Co-I: Prof Astrid Ensslin, Bangor (Ref: AH/K004174/1)

    May 2010: £740 from the British Academy Small Research Grant scheme as PI for 'Metalepsis and Unnatural Narratology' with Dr Jan Alber (Univ. of Freiburg) (Ref: SG100637).

    March 2008: £15,500 from The Leverhulme Trust Academic Collaboration scheme as PI for ‘Digital Fiction International Network’. CI: Prof Astrid Ensslin, Bangor (Ref: F/00455/E).

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    Member of the AHRC peer review college.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Alternate Realties: Possible Worlds Theory and Counterfactual Historical Fiction

    Drawing out Language: The Destabilisation of Information Overload through Conceptual Writing

  • Media

    Alice is interested in how digital technology can enhance and evolve literature. She studies literature written specifically for digital media, which often combine text with images, film, and sound. As a literary-linguist, Alice is interested in how language works in digital fiction. She is also interested in how readers process these texts cognitively.

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