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Jess Mason

Dr Jessica Mason BA, MA, PhD

Senior Lecturer in English Language


Jessica is an interdisciplinary researcher who specialises in linguistics and education. She completed her PhD at the Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) and the School of English at the University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on the cognition and discussion of reading in different contexts, including school classrooms, book clubs, and online. In particular, Jessica studies how readers make intertextual connections between the different stories they read, hear, watch or experience over time. She is interested in how the texts we read, and our responses to them, can shape our identity.

  • About

    Jessica’s research spans stylistics, cognitive poetics, reader response and English education. Her current work focuses on applying concepts from cognitive linguistics to the education context, looking specifically at studying fiction in secondary school English. Jessica runs the final year undergraduate modules 'Exploring English Education' and 'Language, Learning and Wellbeing' and often works with trainee and practising teachers to support their professional development. In particular Jessica works with the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) who awarded her the ‘Terry Furlong Award for Research’ in 2015.

    Jessica’s research also focuses on the application of cognitive science to the understanding of literary reading (cognitive poetics). Her monograph, Intertextuality in Practice, explores how readers make and understand connections between stories. Jessica is particularly interested in the relationships between reading, education and identity.

  • Teaching

    English Language

    BA English
    BA English Language
    BA English Literature
    BA Creative Writing
    MA by Research (English)

    I currently teach on the following modules:

    • Exploring English Education;
    • Language, Learning and Wellbeing;
    • Reading and the Mind;
    • Politeness;
    • Creative Language Awareness;
    • Language and Style.
  • Research

    I am currently working on research exploring:

    • The language of conspiracy theorists;
    • Cognitive approaches to intertextuality;
    • The relationship between reading knowledge and preferences and identity, especially education contexts .
  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Mason, J. (2019). Making fiction out of fact: attention and belief in the discourse of conspiracy. Narrative Inquiry, 29 (2), 293-312.

    Giovanelli, M., & Mason, J. (2018). Reading, Readers and English. English in Education, 52 (1), 2-4.

    Mason, J., & Giovanelli, M. (2017). ‘What do you think?’ Let me tell you : discourse about texts and the literature classroom. Changing English, 24 (1), 318-329.

    Giovanelli, M., & Mason, J. (2015). 'Well i don't feel that': Schemas, worlds and authentic reading in the classroom. English in Education, 49 (1), 41-55.

    Book chapters

    Mason, J. (2021). Teachers’ intertextual identities and English education. In Zyngier, S., & Watson, G. (Eds.) Pedagogical Stylistics in the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan

    Mason, J. (2016). Narrative interrelation, intertextuality and teachers’ knowledge of students’ reading. In Knowing About Language: Linguistics and the Secondary English Classroom. (First Edition). Routledge

    Mason, J. (2015). Narrative. In The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics. (pp. 179-195).


    Mason, J. (2021). Studying Fiction A Guide for Teachers and Researchers. Routledge.

    Mason, J. (2019). Intertextuality in practice.

    Giovanelli, M., & Mason, J. (2018). The Language of Literature. Cambridge University Press.

    Theses / Dissertations

    Johnson, E.R. (2020). Conceptualisations of substance misuse and their potential consequences. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Browse, S.

    Mason, J. (2016). Narrative Interrelation: a cognitive account of intertextuality, and its application to the study of literature. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Stockwell, P., Crook, C., & Bailey, M.


    Mason, J. (2020). Intertextuality in practice: reading tastes, confessions and identities. Presented at: Linguistics at Huddersfield, Research Seminar Series, Online (Zoom) - Hosted by University of Huddersfield

    Mason, J. (2020). “They assume I’ve read it, and I tend to let them”: Reading, References and Identity. Presented at: Centre for Language and Linguistics Research Series, University of Kent, Online (Zoom) - hosted by University of Kent, UK

    Mason, J., & Harrison, C. (2019). ‘Crossing into the Upside Down: Intertextuality in the Text Worlds of Stranger Things’. Presented at: 30 Years of Text World Theory: A Celebration, University of Sheffield, UK

    Mason, J. (2019). An Imperial Affliction: Recognising and Missing References, Intertextuality and Identity. Presented at: 8th Conference of the International Association of Literary Semantics (IALS), University of Iceland, Reykjavík

    Mason, J. (2019). Studying Fiction and Reading for Pleasure. Presented at: OCR English Conference 2019, Cambridge Assessment, The Triangle Building, Cambridge, UK

    Mason, J. (2018). ‘“I assume you’ve read…”: Intertextuality, booktalk and identity’. Presented at: Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) Annual Conference, University of Birmighanm, UK

    Mason, J., Harrison, C., & Giovanelli, M. (2018). ‘“The inside of my head is out of control”: Mind style and the stylistic representation of memory in The One Memory of Flora Banks’. Presented at: 4th Cambridge Symposium on Cognitive Approaches to Children’s Literature, University of Cambridge, UK

    Mason, J., & Giovanelli, M. (2018). ‘Studying fiction: Emphasis and attention in the Literature classroom’. Presented at: Cognitive Approaches to Language in Education, BAAL/Routledge Conference, University of Glasgow, UK

    Mason, J., & Giovanelli, M. (2017). Whose close reading? Interpretation and response in the literature classroom. Presented at: Symposium on Close Reading, Codes and Interpretation, Middlesex University

    Mason, J. (2017). ‘Teaching/studying/reading fiction? A cognitive look at the class reader’. Presented at: PGCE English, University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education, UK

    Mason, J., & Giovanelli, M. (2017). ‘A foundation for teaching: Cognitive linguistics as a tool to “think with” in the classroom’. Presented at: Approaches to Teaching Grammar and Knowledge about Language, University of Sheffield

    Mason, J. (2016). ‘Studying fiction’. Presented at: PGCE English, University of Bristol

    Mason, J. (2016). ‘Analysing intertextuality: A cognitive framework’. Presented at: Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) Annual Conference 2016, University of Cagliari, Sardinia

    Mason, J., & Giovanelli, M. (2016). ‘Authentic reading in the literature classroom: Cognition, knowledge and discourse’. Presented at: Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) Annual Conference 2016, University of Cagliari, Sardinia

    Mason, J., & Giovanelli, M. (2016). ‘Teaching literature: Emphasis, attention and cognition in the classroom’. Presented at: National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) Dartmouth Symposium, Stratford Upon Avon, UK

    Mason, J. (2016). ‘Fostering intertextual connections in class reader units: A cognitive perspective’. Presented at: National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) Annual Conference 2016, Stratford Upon Avon, UK

    Mason, J. (2016). ‘Teaching/studying/reading fiction? A cognitive look at the class reader’. Presented at: PGCE English, University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education, UK

    Mason, J. (2015). ‘Cognitive poetics and teaching poetry’. Presented at: Integrating Language and Literature Teaching in the Classroom, St Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK

    Mason, J. (2014). ‘Inviting the outside in: A cognitive approach to creativity in the classroom’. Presented at: PGCE Creativity and Learning Special Interest Group, University of Nottingham, UK

    Mason, J. (2014). ‘Understanding schemas, understanding readers’. Presented at: Guest Lecture, Style and Context, Coventry University, UK

  • Postgraduate supervision

    I welcome applications from research students interested in studying in the fields of cognitive poetics and stylistics, English education, reader response studies and discourses of conspiracy.

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