Sunday, December 6, 2015

Reading Animals and Eating Animals

Can literature change hearts and minds about real world issues? And can such effects be long-lasting? It is often assumed that novels such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin changed readers’ attitudes. But there is surprisingly little hard evidence that this was so—and some have suggested that such novels may have facilitated change less by changing attitudes as by providing encouragement to the committed.

As part of a session at the NEMLA (Northeast MLA) conference in March 2016 (organized by Laura Struve and Ursula McTaggart and entitled "Literature that Sparks Social Change"), I'll be giving a paper that focuses on the degree to which the experience of reading Animals may have contributed to changes in attitudes and behavior for some readers. I'm hoping you may be willing to help.

I've now posted a short questionnaire on this topic that my partner, Maureen Okun, helped me put together. Responding should take no more than a couple of minutes; I'd be very grateful indeed if you may be willing to answer the 8 multiple choice questions. The questionnaire has been posted through Survey Monkey, and they will tabulate the responses. All answers are anonymous; neither nor anyone else will be able to see how you responded.

Here's the survey; I do hope you'll check it out!

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