IGEL - the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media

IGEL is a highly interdisciplinary society of scholars and researchers involved in empirical studies of the nature, effects, and implications of literature and literary reading.


Does literary reading make people more empathic?
Does reading a novel in a digital medium change its impact, compared to reading on paper?
What are the aesthetic effects of reading novels, short stories, and poetry?
What features of a text make it literary?

These are just examples of the research questions pursued by members of IGEL. IGEL supports empirical literary research through international and interdisciplinary cooperation. We bring together investigators from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Founded in 1987, IGEL’s principal duties are to support early career researchers, foster collaboration, and provide conference and publication opportunities for those who conduct empirical studies of literary reading.

IGEL conducts biennial conferences in Europe and North America, and organize smaller off-year conferences around specific themes of interest.

The 16th IGEL Conference will take place in Stavanger in July 2018.

Become a member

IGEL membership is open to everyone with an interest in our research topics.

IGEL membership includes a subscription to our interdisciplinary journal Scientific Study of Literature. The journal publishes manuscripts that make a significant contribution to the study of literary phenomena in several media formats.

Membership benefits:

  • Free subscription to the Society´s journal, Scientific Study of Literature
  • Possibilities to network with innovative scholars
  • Opportunities to disseminate calls for papers, announcements, etc., through our membership community
  • Access to training schools and workshops organized by IGEL
  • Discounted conference rates
  • Participation in the Society’s governance

For information on how to become a member, or to renew your membership, please visit the IGEL website.

For more information, please visit:

IGEL web page
IGEL on Facebook
IGEL on Twitter (@IgelSociety)
IGEL Concerence Stavanger 2018

Igel North

IGEL North is a Northern European research group aiming to promote empirical approaches to reading, media and culture within Nordic academia. Coordinator is professor Anne Mangen, Norwegian Reading Centre