Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Characters in Fictional Worlds: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Date: February 28 - March 02, 2007

Organizers: Ralf Schneider (Bielefeld), Jens Eder (Hamburg), Fotis Jannidis (Darmstadt)

The symposium 'Characters in Fictional Worlds' was concerned with the state of the theory of fictional characters in literature and other media. An attempt was made to survey various approaches to this field of research, which as yet lacks the coherence of other scholarly discourses in the humanities. During the discussions it appeared that various branches of cognitivism may provide a framework in which a number of research topics on the production and reception of characters can be integrated. These included information processing in character reception, distancing, involvement and empathy as well as schematization and particularization of characters, and the attribution of mental states to fictional entities.

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