Questions referring to
"Empirical Studies of Literature: A Sketch of the Territory"

1. Is the sketch accurate, complete, as far as your experience of empirical studies of literature (ES) is concerned?

2. Of the areas outlined in the syllabus, which:

1. merited more time spent on them; why?
2. merited less time spent on them; why?

3. Which area(s) in the sketch do you see as most promising in developing ES as a discipline in the future?

4. What is the most serious impediment to the future of ES research and scholarship?

5. If you were designing a course on ES what would you do differently?

6. What is the place of the empirical study (data collection and analysis) in ES, and how should it be positioned or justified?

7. Should all students of English (honours, graduates, majors) be introduced to ES?

8. How can we translate the ideas and findings of ES into practical classroom methods, e.g., in a first year English class? Should we?

9. Is ES interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or single-discipline with supplements? Do we need a grounding in linguistics, philosophy, psychology, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, etc., to be effective ES scholars?

10. How is the historicist approach of much literary scholarship to be accommodated in ES?

11. How far could ES approaches and concepts be extended to other media (e.g., video games, the Internet, films, hypermedia)?

12. Is ES a paradigm or close to one? Does it have a coherent body of theory? Could it be the next thing "after theory" for literary scholarship?

13. Is ES one solution to the "two cultures" divide? (i.e., a merging of the humanities and science)

14. "Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world" (Archimedes). Is ES such a place, and if so what is its lever?

15. What other questions should be included in this list?

Document created December 7th 2005