SIG-ROLE Seminar

Wednesday 25 June 2025, 10 am - Friday 27 June 2025, 6 pm

Legitimising Literature in an Evolving Media Landscape

It is an international trend that not only the reading proficiency of young readers is declining, but also their reading motivation is diminishing. Consequently, for educators, literature education becomes increasingly challenging. In the classroom – from primary education to higher education, including teacher training programmes – there are growing cohorts of students who rarely or never read, and sometimes explicitly express their unwillingness to do so. 

Simultaneously, in these same classrooms, there are students who devour one book after another and discuss their reading enthusiasm online with like-minded individuals, for example, through the popular hashtag #BookTok. This group also presents challenges in literature pedagogy, as their affective readings of fantasy and romance constitute a literacy practice of a fundamentally different nature than the meticulous reading of literary texts in a classroom context. While this group may not require legitimisation for their volitional reading practices, literary reading for school purposes certainly does.

The central inquiry of this symposium revolves around how we can justify our literature education in an era where literary reading faces pressures while concurrently experiencing flourishing within an evolving media landscape. Issues that may be addressed include, but are not limited to: 

  • What arguments do educators in literature education, spanning from primary to higher education, employ to underscore or validate the significance of literature? 
  • What factors influence whether a student becomes persuaded (or not) of the importance of literary reading across various stages of literary development? 
  • What are (effective) strategies for teaching literature and/or selecting texts to underscore the significance of literature within classroom environments? 
  • What role can peers who are passionate about literature play in legitimising literature within an educational context? 
  • What perspectives regarding the importance of literature do students themselves articulate in literature education, such as in student projects, classroom dialogues, or other forms of interaction? 
  • How do the recreational reading habits of students intersect with reading practices in educational settings, in terms of legitimising literature? 
  • How is literary reading validated within the online reading culture of young people, and what insights can be gleaned from this for literature education? 
  • What role do audiovisual and/or multimodal literature, games and the like play in literature education?
  • What potentials do teachers ascribe with respect to the variety of forms literature can take in the current medial environment?
  • Which theoretical and methodological perspectives can enrich research on the legitimisation of literature within a didactic framework?

Abstracts (250 words) should be submitted before October 1, 2024, through the symposium’s e-mail address: sigrole2025 [at] (sigrole2025[at]ru[dot]nl). The seminar is organised in cooperation with The Special interest Group of Research on Literature Education (SIG ROLE) within the The International Association for Research in L1 Education (ARLE).

Wednesday 25 June 2025, 10 am - Friday 27 June 2025, 6 pm
Radboud University, Nijmegen
Contact information

This event is organised by Dr Jeroen Dera. Emails regarding the event can be sent to sigrole2025 [at] (sigrole2025[at]ru[dot]nl)