About Accels

  RWTH aachen University Main Building Copyright: Martin Braun

Pursuing the empirical study of literary reception in flesh-and-blood readers, the Aachen Center for Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies (ACCELS) presents innovative research in the Humanities. Literary reception offers routes into investigating the complex interactions between cognitive and emotional factors of comprehension, as well as the relationship between general mental dispositions and culturally specific meaning. ACCELS aims to contribute to this field of research.

The center serves as an international platform for exchange among scholars studying the processes of understanding literature and other cultural artefacts on the basis of the cognitive sciences and employing a range of empirical methods. ACCELS provides a unique chance to pool the knowledge of many experts in these fields, to initiate collaborative and transdisciplinary research projects, and to thus further the development of Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies.

The most important functions of the Center are the following:

  • The center initiates and coordinates cooperative and interdisciplinary projects in empirical reception research.
  • We organize lecture series, workshops, summer schools and master classes with international experts working in the fields of Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies.
  • The center provides access to laboratories, hardware and software for empirical research into reception processes.
  • We are open to hosting recipients of research fellowships such as those awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  • The center serves as a platform for exchanging information about current and planned PhD and postdoctoral research projects in the fields of Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies.
  • We aim at establishing study programs which incorporate cognitive and empirical theories, models and methods (including scientific approaches and methods from Digital Humanities) more strongly than traditional courses in Literary Studies do.