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Alison Gibbons

Dr Alison Gibbons

Reader in Contemporary Stylistics


Alison's research consistently pursues a stylistic approach to innovative and contemporary narrative and she has published international in numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is the author of Multimodality, Cognition, and Experimental Literature (Routledge 2012, pbk 2014, Chinese Trans. 2016) 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 Vermeueln) and Pronouns in Literature: Perspectives and Positions in Language (Palgrave 2018; with Andrea Macrae). At the moment, she is currently most interested in: metamodernism, multimodal fiction, contemporary autofiction, fiction on the Arab Spring, and the reception of contemporary narratives (empirical).

  • Teaching

    Department Of Humanities

    Development and Society

    I teach across linguistics, contemporary literature and creative writing, including the following modules

    • Reading and the Mind (starting 2017-18)
    • Language and Style
    • Contemporary Fiction
    • Experimental Writing
    • Describing Language
    • Language Dissertation
  • Research

    • Humanities Research Centre
  • Publications

    Journal Articles

    GIBBONS, Alison (2017). Reading S across media: transmedia storyworlds, multimodal fiction, and real readers. Narrative, 25 (3), 321-341.

    GIBBONS, Alison (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.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2016). Multimodality, Cognitive Poetics, and Genre: Reading Grady Hendrix’s novel Horrorstör. Multimodal communication, 5 (1), 15-29.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2015) ‘An Interview with Adam Thirlwell’, Contemporary Literature 55(4): 611-634.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2015) ‘ “Take that you intellectuals” and “KaPOW!”: Adam Thirlwell and the Metamodernist Future of Style’, Studia Neophilologica 87(Supp 1): 29-43.

    GIBBONS, Alison (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.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2013) ‘Multimodal Metaphors in Contemporary Experimental Literature’, Metaphor in the Social World 3(2): 180-198.

    Gibbons, A. (2012) ‘ “You’ve never experienced a novel like this”: Time and Interaction when reading TOC’, Electronic Book Review, special festschrift edition on Steve Tomasula. Online: http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/fictionspresent/linear

    GIBBONS, Alison (2008) ‘Multimodal literature ‘moves’ us: dynamic movement and embodiment in VAS: An Opera In Flatland’, HERMES 41: 107-124.


    GIBBONS, Alison (2012) Multimodality, Cognition, and Experimental Literature, London; New York: Routledge.
    (2014; paperback) (November 2016; Chinese translation)

    Co-authored Books

    GIBBONS, Alison and WHITELEY, Sarah (forthcoming 2016) Style and Cognition: An Introduction, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. [Contracted and in preparation]

    Edited Volumes

    VAN DEN AKKER, RAMON., GIBBONS, Alison, and VERMEULEN, Timotheus. (eds) (forthcoming) Metamodernism: Historicity, Affect, Depth, Rowman & Littlefield International. [Under consideration.]

    GIBBONS, Alison and MACRAE, Andrea. (eds) (forthcoming 2018) Pronouns in Literature: Positions and Perspectives in Language, Palgrave Macmillan. [Contracted.]

    BRAY, Joe, GIBBONS, Alison and McHALE, Brian. (eds) (2012) Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature, London; New York: Routledge. (2014; paperback)

    BRAY, Joe and GIBBONS, Alison (eds) (2011) Mark Z. Danielewski, Manchester: Manchester University Press. (2015; paperback)

    Book Chapters

    GIBBONS, Alison (2016) ‘Building Hollywood in Paddington: Text World Theory, immersive theatre, and Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man’, in Gavins, J. and Lahey, E. (eds) World Building: Discourse in the Mind, Bloomsbury. pp.71-89

    GIBBONS, Alison (2015) ‘Creativity and Multimodal Literature, in Jones, R. H. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Language and Creativity, London; New York: Routledge, pp. 293-306.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2014) ‘Multimodality in Literature: An analysis of Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘A Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease’ ’, in Norris, S. and Maier, C. D. (eds) Interactions, Images, and Texts: A Reader in Multimodality, Berlin; New York: Mouton De Gruyter, pp.369-375.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2014) ‘Fictionality and Ontology’, in Stockwell, P. and Whiteley, S. (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.410-425.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2012) ‘Multimodal Literature and Experimentation’, in Bray, J., Gibbons, A. and McHale, B. (eds) Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. London; New York: Routledge, pp.420-434.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2012) ‘Altermodernist Fiction’, in Bray, J., Gibbons, A. and McHale, B. (eds) Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. London; New York: Routledge, pp.238-252.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2012) ‘ “You were there”: The allways ontologies of Only Revolutions’, in Pöhlman, S. (ed.) Revolutionary Leaves: The Fiction of Mark Z. Danielewski, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.167-182.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2011) ‘This is not for you’, in Bray, J. and Gibbons, A. (eds) Mark Z. Danielewski. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp.17-32.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2010) ‘Narrative worlds and multimodal figures in House of Leaves: “-find your own words; I have no more” ’, in Grishakova, M. and Ryan, M-L. (eds) Intermediality and Storytelling, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp.285-311.

    GIBBONS, Alison (2009) ‘ “I contain multitudes": Narrative multimodality and the book that bleeds', in Page, R. (ed.) New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality. London; New York: Routledge, pp.99-114.

  • Other activities

    2013-2017: External Examiner for the MA in English Studies (online), University of Sheffield
    2011 – Present: Secretary, International Association of Literary Semantics (IALS)

  • Post graduate supervision

    I welcome applications from research students interested in studying in the fields of cognitive poetics and stylistics, multimodality studies, and contemporary 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 visual fiction and innovative narrative forms such as mobile narratives and immersive theatre. Connected to this, Alison researches how readers and users process and engage with contemporary forms of fiction. Alison is also interested in how we define the contemporary moment as a cultural sensibility beyond the postmodern (eg metamodernism).

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