Dr Catherine Emmott
- Honorary Senior Research Fellow (School of Critical Studies)
- Text and Discourse Analysis
- Cognitive approaches to Text Analysis
- Reference theory and discourse anaphora
- Medical Humanitiess
Dr. Catherine Emmott is a Reader in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Glasgow, where she has worked since 1989. She was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1994-5), funded by the Leverhulme Trust. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Amsterdam (1997), the University of Utrecht (2000-1) and currently at University College Roosevelt in Middelburg (2018-19), all funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Catherine Emmott obtained her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham. Before starting work in Glasgow, she was a grammar editor for the Collins COBUILD English Language Dictionary (1986). While based at the University of Glasgow, she has undertaken the following additional roles for publishers and learned societies: She was Assistant Editor of Language and Literature, the international journal of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) for eighteen years from 1998 to 2016. She was also a Language Consultant for the Encarta Concise Dictionary (2002) and the Encarta Student Dictionary (2002). In addition, she was on the Executive Editorial Board for Elsevier’s 14-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2006, second edition) and section editor for the Encyclopedia’s “Text Analysis and Stylistics” section. She has been the Treasurer and an Executive Committee member of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) (1999-2002). She was on the Governing Board of IGEL (International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature) (2006-2008) and was joint organiser of the Society for Text and Discourse conference in Glasgow in 2007.
Catherine Emmott was Director of the STACS Project – Stylistics, Text Analysis and Cognitive Science: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Nature of Reading (previously the LINCS Project – Literature, Narrative and Cognitive Science) for ten years until 2012. This project was run jointly with Professor A.J. Sanford of the University of Glasgow’s Psychology Department. The work was funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council grants and a British Academy grant.
Catherine Emmott is currently on the editorial boards of the journal Language and Literature (2016 to present), De Gruyter’s book series Narratologia (2002 to present) and Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies (2009 to present), and on the advisory board of the journal English Text Construction (formerly the Belgian Journal of English Language and Literatures) (2003 to present).
Catherine Emmott is author of two books: Narrative Comprehension: A Discourse Perspective (Oxford University Press, 1997) and (with Anthony J. Sanford) Mind, Brain and Narrative (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Narrative Comprehension provides the main account of Emmott’s Contextual Frame Theory. This book draws on insights from discourse analysis and artificial intelligence to build a detailed model of how readers build, maintain and use mental representations of fictional contexts, and how they keep track of characters and contexts within a complex, changing fictional world. Mind, Brain and Narrative is the product of the interdisciplinary collaboration of the STACS Project (see above weblink). This book includes a discussion of the empirical work of the project and other key topics, including chapters on scenario-mapping theory and inferences, counterfactuals and figurative language, foregrounding and attention, embodiment, perspective, emotion and persuasion.
Catherine Emmott’s recent and current research after the STACS Project is primarily in the following areas (please see the publications list for details of relevant recent articles):
- Cognitive approaches to text analysis, including Contextual Frame Theory and schema theory
- Foregrounding and backgrounding in narratives
- Discourse anaphora
- Stylistic uses of pronouns in narratives
- The language of autobiographical and fictional narratives about illness, care and bereavement
- Manipulation in detective fiction.
Catherine Emmott has given plenary lectures on the above research topics in Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the UK, and she has taught overseas Master Classes in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.