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  4. Dr Alison Gibbons

Dr Alison Gibbons BA (Hons), MA, PGcertHE, PhD

Reader in Contemporary Stylistics


Summary

Alison’s research explores contemporary, innovative forms of fiction through the lens of cognitive stylistics/poetics and cognitive narratology. This sometimes also includes undertaking empirical reception research, with response data from real-readers or participants. Alison’s current research is split between two larger projects: (1) mapping the forms of contemporary autofiction and its reading experience, including developing a cognitive account of fictionality; (2) charting the stylistic and narratological strategies as well as the literary tropes and thematic resonances of contemporary metamodernist fiction, including autofiction and Anthropocene fiction. In connection with this latter project, Alison is also interested in how global literature (such as Arab Spring Fiction) might contribute to our critical understanding of metamodernism as a cultural paradigm.

About

Alison is the author of Multimodality, Cognition, and Experimental Literature (Routledge 2012, pbk 2014, Chinese Trans. forthcoming) and editor of Mark Z. Danielewski (Manchester University Press 2011, pbk 2015; with Joe Bray), the Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature (Routledge 2012, pbk 2014; with Joe Bray and Brian McHale), Metamodernism: Historicity, Affect, and Depth after Postmodernism (Rowman & Littlefield International 2017; with Robin van den Akker and Timotheus Vermeulen), Pronouns in Literature: Perspectives and Positions in Language (Palgrave 2018; with Andrea Macrae), and Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods (John Benjamins 2021; with Alice Bell, Sam Browse, and David Peplow). She has also published widely in edited collections and peer-reviewed journals including Ariel, Contemporary Fiction, Critique, Multimodal Communication, Narrative, and Narrative Inquiry, amongst others.

Specialist areas of interest

Contemporary Fiction

Autofiction

Fictionality

Metamodernism and Metamodernist Fiction

Anthropocene Fiction

Arab Spring Fiction

Cognitive Stylistics, Cognitive Poetics and Cognitive Narratology 

Teaching

Department of Humanities

Social Sciences and Arts

Subject area

English

Courses

  • BA English
  • BA English Language
  • BA English Literature

Modules

I teach across linguistics, stylistics, literature, and creative writing on the following modules, including:

Contemporary Fiction; Experimental Writing; Dissertation; Language, Learning, and Wellbeing; Reading and the Mind; Rethinking Language; Style and interpretation.


Research

Alison is currently writing a monograph, titled Reading Contemporary Autofiction: A Cognitive Stylistics of Fictionality (for John Benjamins). She is also currently working on two editorial projects: Reading the Contemporary Author: Narrative, Authority, Fictionality (for Ohio State University Press; with Elizabeth King), and Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives (for University of Nebraska Press; with Torsa Ghosal).

Publications

Browse, S., Gibbons, A., & Hatavara, M. (2019). Real fictions: fictionality, factuality and narrative strategies in contemporary storytelling. Narrative Inquiry, 29 (2), 245-267. http://doi.org/10.1075/ni.19025.bro

Gibbons, A., Vermeulen, T., & van den Akker, R. (2019). Reality beckons: metamodernist depthiness beyond panfictionality. European Journal of English Studies, 23 (2), 172-189. http://doi.org/10.1080/13825577.2019.1640426

Gibbons, A. (2019). Using life and abusing life in the trial of Ahmed Naji: Text World Theory, Adab, and the ethics of reading. Journal of Language and Discrimination. http://doi.org/10.1558/jld.35809

Gibbons, A. (2019). Nurturing Life Writing in Egypt after the Arab Spring: Fiction as “Survival Mechanism”. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 34 (2), 316-324. http://doi.org/10.1080/08989575.2019.1592376

Gibbons, A. (2018). Entropology and the end of nature in Lance Olsen’s Theories of Forgetting. Textual practice, 33 (2), 280-299. http://doi.org/10.1080/0950236x.2018.1509271

Gibbons, A. (2017). Reading S across media: transmedia storyworlds, multimodal fiction, and real readers. Narrative, 25 (3), 321-341. http://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2017.0017

Gibbons, A. (2016). "Take that you intellectuals" and "KaPOW!": Adam Thirlwell and the metamodernist future of style. . https://www.routledge.com/The-Futures-of-the-Present-New-Directions-in-American-Literature/Fjellestad-Watson/p/book/9781138685154

Gibbons, A. (2016). 'I haven't seen you since (a specific date, a time, the weather)': Global identity and the reinscription of subjectivity in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing. Ariel : A Review of International English Literature, 47 (1-2), 223-251. http://doi.org/10.1353/ari.2016.0000

Gibbons, A. (2016). Multimodality, Cognitive Poetics, and Genre:Reading Grady Hendrix’s novel Horrorstör. Multimodal communication, 5 (1), 15-29. http://doi.org/10.1515/mc-2016-0008

Gibbons, A. (2015). THE CIRCLE. AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW, 36 (5), 11-12. http://doi.org/10.1353/abr.2015.0102

Gibbons, A. (2015). LURID & CUTE. AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW, 37 (1), 21-22. http://doi.org/10.1353/abr.2015.0150

Gibbons, A. (2015). An interview with Adam Thirlwell. Contemporary Literature, 55 (4), 611-634. http://doi.org/10.3368/cl.55.4.611

Gibbons, A. (2014). Tension, style and the modern psyche: A stylistic analysis of Philip Zimmermann's high tension. The blue notebook: Journal for artists’ books, 8 (2), 6-13. https://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/blue-notebook/

Gibbons, A. (2014). An Interview with Adam Thirlwell. Contemporary Literature, 55 (4), 610-634. http://doi.org/10.1353/cli.2014.0035

Gibbons, A. (2013). LITERATURE AFTER GLOBALIZATION: TEXTUALITY, TECHNOLOGY AND THE NATION-STATE. AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW, 34 (4), 11. http://doi.org/10.1353/abr.2013.0076

Gibbons, A. (2013). THE FIFTY YEAR SWORD. AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW, 34 (5), 17-18.

Gibbons, A. (2013). Sewing, Stabbing, and Semantics. American Book Review, 34 (5), 17-18. http://doi.org/10.1353/abr.2013.0078

Gibbons, A. (2013). Multimodal metaphors in contemporary experimental literature. Metaphor and the Social World, 3 (2), 180-198. http://doi.org/10.1075/msw.3.2.04gib

Gibbons, A. (2012). “You’ve never experienced a novel like this”: Time and interaction when reading TOC. Electronic book review. http://electronicbookreview.com/essay/youve-never-experienced-a-novel-like-this-time-and-interaction-when-reading-toc/

Gibbons, A. (2008). Multimodal literature 'moves' us: dynamic movement and embodiment in VAS: An opera In flatland. Hermes journal of language and communication in business, 41, 107-124. https://tidsskrift.dk/her/issue/view/2852

Gibbons, A. (n.d.). Interpreting Fictionality and Ontological Blurrings in and Between Lance Olsen’s Theories of Forgetting and there’s no place like time. Style (DeKalb), 55 (3), 406-429. http://doi.org/10.5325/style.55.3.0406

Book chapters

Gibbons, A. (2021). “Why do you insist that Alana is not real?” Visitors’ perceptions of the fictionality of Andi and Lance Olsen’s ‘there’s no place like time’ exhibition. In Gibbons, A., Bell, A., Peplow, D., & Browse, S. (Eds.) Style and Reader Response: Minds, media, methods. (pp. 101-121). John Benjamins: http://doi.org/10.1075/lal.36

Gibbons, A. (2021). “Why do you insist that Alana is not real?” Visitors’ perceptions of the fictionality of Andi and Lance Olsen’s ‘there’s no place like time’ exhibition. In Gibbons, A., Bell, A., Peplow, D., & Browse, S. (Eds.) Style and Reader Response: Minds, media, methods. (pp. 101-121). John Benjamins: http://doi.org/10.1075/lal.36

Bell, A., Browse, S., Gibbons, A., & Peplow, D. (2021). Responding to style. In Linguistic Approaches to Literature. (pp. 1-19). http://doi.org/10.1075/lal.36.01bel

Gibbons, A. (2021). "why do you insist that Alana is not real?" : Visitors' perceptions of the fictionality of Andi and Lance Olsen's 'there's no place like time' exhibition. In Linguistic Approaches to Literature. (pp. 101-121). http://doi.org/10.1075/lal.36.06gib

Gibbons, A. (2018). Autonarration, 'I', and odd address in Ben Lerner's autofictional novel 10.04. In Gibbons, A., & Macrae, A. (Eds.) Pronouns in literature: Positions and perspectives in language. (pp. 75-96). Palgrave Macmillan: http://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95317-2

Gibbons, A. (2018). Autonarration, 'I', and odd address in Ben Lerner's autofictional novel 10.04. In Gibbons, A., & Macrae, A. (Eds.) Pronouns in literature: Positions and perspectives in language. (pp. 75-96). Palgrave Macmillan: http://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95317-2

Gibbons, A. (2018). Autonarration, i, and odd address in ben lerner's autofictional novel 10:04. In Pronouns in Literature: Positions and Perspectives in Language. (pp. 75-96). http://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95317-2_5

Gibbons, A., & Macrae, A. (2018). Positions and perspectives on pronouns in literature: The state of the subject. In Pronouns in Literature: Positions and Perspectives in Language. (pp. 1-14). http://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95317-2_1

Gibbons, A. (2017). Contemporary autofiction and metamodern affect. In Van Den Akker, R., Gibbons, A., & Vermeuleun, T. (Eds.) Metamodernism: Historicity, affect, and depth after postmodernism. (pp. 117-130). London: Rowman & Littlefield International: https://www.rowmaninternational.com/book/metamodernism/3-156-2ecae72f-85e3-46f0-9128-185c40366816

Gibbons, A. (2017). Metamodern affect. In Van Den Akker, R., Gibbons, A., & Vermeulen, T. (Eds.) Metamodernism: Historicity, Affect, and Depth after Postmodernism. (pp. 83-86). London: Rowman & Littlefield International: https://www.rowmaninternational.com/book/metamodernism/3-156-2ecae72f-85e3-46f0-9128-185c40366816

Gibbons, A. (2017). Metamodern affect. In Van Den Akker, R., Gibbons, A., & Vermeulen, T. (Eds.) Metamodernism: Historicity, Affect, and Depth after Postmodernism. (pp. 83-86). London: Rowman & Littlefield International: https://www.rowmaninternational.com/book/metamodernism/3-156-2ecae72f-85e3-46f0-9128-185c40366816

Gibbons, A. (2017). Contemporary autofiction and metamodern affect. In Van Den Akker, R., Gibbons, A., & Vermeuleun, T. (Eds.) Metamodernism: Historicity, affect, and depth after postmodernism. (pp. 117-130). London: Rowman & Littlefield International: https://www.rowmaninternational.com/book/metamodernism/3-156-2ecae72f-85e3-46f0-9128-185c40366816

Gibbons, A. (2016). Building Hollywood in Paddington: Text world theory, immersive theatre, and Punchdrunk's the drowned man. In Gavins, J., & Lahey, E. (Eds.) World building: Discourse in the mind. (pp. 71-89). Bloomsbury academic: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/world-building-9781472586551/

Gibbons, A. (2015). Creativity and multimodal literature. In Jones, R.H. (Ed.) Routledge handbook of language and creativity. (pp. 293-306). Abingdon: Routledge: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Language-and-Creativity/Jones/p/book/9780415839730

Bray, J., & Gibbons, A. (2015). Introduction. In Mark Z. Danielewski. (pp. 1-14). Manchester University Press: http://doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719099335.003.0001

Gibbons, A. (2015). Fictionality and ontology. In The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics. (pp. 408-423). http://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139237031.031

Gibbons, A. (2014). Multimodality in literature: An analysis of Jonathan Safran Foer's 'A primer for the punctuation of heart disease'. In Norris, S., & Maier, C.D. (Eds.) Interactions, images, and texts: A reader in multimodality. (pp. 371-380). Boston: De Gruyter Mouton: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/181932

Gibbons, A. (2014). 29. Multimodality in literature: An analysis of jonathan safran foer’s a primer for the punctuation of heart disease. In Interactions, Images and Texts. (pp. 371-380). DE GRUYTER: http://doi.org/10.1515/9781614511175.371

Gibbons, A. (2012). "You were there": The allways ontologies of only revolutions. In Pohlmann, S. (Ed.) Revolutionary leaves: The fiction of Mark Z. Danielewski. (pp. 167-182). Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (2012). Introduction. In The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. (pp. 1-18). http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203116968-7

Gibbons, A. (2012). Multimodal literature and experimentation. In The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. (pp. 420-434). http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203116968-39

Gibbons, A. (2012). Altermodernist fiction. In The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. (pp. 238-252). http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203116968-25

Gibbons, A. (2011). This is not for you. In Bray, J., & Gibbons, A. (Eds.) Mark Z. Danielewski. (pp. 17-32). Manchester University Press: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719082627/

Gibbons, A. (2011). This is not for you. In Bray, J., & Gibbons, A. (Eds.) Mark Z. Danielewski. (pp. 17-32). Manchester University Press: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719082627/

Gibbons, A. (2010). Narrative worlds and multimodal figures in house of leaves: "-find your own words; I have no more". In Grishakova, M., & Ryan, M.-.L. (Eds.) Intermediality and Storytelling. (pp. 285-311). De Gruyter: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/174062

Gibbons, A. (2009). "I contain multitudes": Narrative multimodality and the book that bleeds. In New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality. (pp. 99-114). http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203869437

Gibbons, A. (n.d.). Altermodernist Fiction. In The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Routledge: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203116968.ch18

Gibbons, A. (n.d.). Multimodal literature and experimentation. In The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Routledge: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203116968.ch31

Books

Bell, A., Browse, S., Gibbons, A., & Peplow, D. (Eds.). (2021). Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods. John Benjamins.

Gibbons, A., & Whiteley, S. (2018). Contemporary stylistics: Language, cognition, interpretation. Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-contemporary-stylistics.html

Gibbons, A., & Macrae, A. (Eds.). (2018). Pronouns in literature: Positions and perspectives in language. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781349953165

Gibbons, A., & Macrae, A. (Eds.). (2018). Pronouns in literature: Positions and perspectives in language. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781349953165

Van Den Akker, R., Gibbons, A., & Vermeulen, T. (Eds.). (2017). Metamodernism: Historicity, affect, depth, after postmodernism. London: Rowman and Littlefield. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781783489602/Metamodernism-Historicity-Affect-and-Depth-after-Postmodernism

Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (Eds.). (2012). The Routledge companion to experimental literature. Oxon: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Experimental-Literature/Bray-Gibbons-McHale/p/book/9780415570008

Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (Eds.). (2012). The Routledge companion to experimental literature. Oxon: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Experimental-Literature/Bray-Gibbons-McHale/p/book/9780415570008

Gibbons, A. (2012). Multimodality, cognition, and experimental literature. http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203803219

Bray, J., & Gibbons, A. (Eds.). (2011). Mark Z. Danielewski. Manchester University Press. http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719082627/

Bray, J., & Gibbons, A. (Eds.). (2011). Mark Z. Danielewski. Manchester University Press. http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719082627/

Flint, J., & Robinson, D. (2008). Introduction. http://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt9qgtqp.6

Exhibitions

McCormack, T.C., & Zwink, O. (2011). Not for you. LoBe, Berlin, Germany.

Other activities

External Examining: Teaching Programmes

2018-2021: BA in English Language and Literature, British University of Egypt (BUE) in Cairo [validated by London South Bank University (LSBU)]

2013-2017: External Examiner for the MA in English Studies (online), University of Sheffield.

External Board Positions

2019: Poetics And Linguistics Association (PALA) Ambassador for the Société de Stylistique Anglaise.

2011-2017: Secretary, International Association of Literary Semantics.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising three PhD projects, which have the following working titles:

The Archival Turn in Multimodal and Electronic Literature

A Text-Worlds Exploration of Therapeutic Group Reading Interventions for Children's Social and Emotional Development

A Schematic Analysis of Emoji Usage in Digital Discourse


PhD projects that I have supervised to completion are:

Reading Technologies, Literary Innovation, and a New Fiction


Media

Alison’s research focuses on contemporary narrative experiences, both in terms of form and content. She is interested in the composition of contemporary texts, such as the way in which they are written, the potential combination of word and image, and the medium through which they are delivered. As a result, Alison is an expert on contemporary autofiction (which blurs the boundaries between autobiography and fiction), visual fiction, and other innovative narrative forms such as mobile narratives and immersive theatre. Connected to this, Alison researches how readers and users process and engage with these contemporary forms of fiction. Alison is also interested in how we define the contemporary moment as a cultural sensibility beyond the postmodern (e.g. metamodernism).

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