In light of the current global health situation, the 17th IGEL conference has been postponed. We are delighted to let you know that the 17th IGEL conference will now take place 23-26 June 2021 at the University of Liverpool (including the same keynote speakers).

  • We kindly request that delegates whose proposals were accepted in March 2020 hold these dates. Further details will be available in Autumn 2020, when conference registration will open.
  • We encourage those who wish to propose presentations for 2021 that were not among those accepted in March 2020 to watch for a new call for presentation proposals in Autumn 2020.
  • The pre-conference training school (on sentiment analysis) will be held on 21-22 June 2021, also at the University of Liverpool. Again, we ask colleagues who signed up for the training school this year to hold these dates, and await further information in Autumn 2020.

The conference committee would like to thank everyone for their interest and contributions to date. This promises to be an exciting conference when it happens!

As these plans become available, they will be presented on the IGEL conference pages on the Liverpool University Department of English website.

The Society's Mandate

The aim of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (Internationale Gesellschaft für Empirische Literaturwissenschaft; IGEL) is to advance empirical literary research through interdisciplinary and international cooperation. The Society supports efforts to apply, or facilitate the application of, scientific methods to study of the structure and function of literature, especially its aesthetic function. Literature is broadly defined as all cultural artifacts that embody literary devices, such as narrative genre, stylistic variations, and figurative language. The domain includes novels, short stories, and poetry, but also theater, film, television, and digital media.

A German 'igel'

An Organizational Tidbit:

As an international society, the IGEL acronym has two intriguing translations. First, in German, igel means 'hedgehog,' which explains the acronym and our logo. This motif echoes German contributions to the formation and continued support of IGEL (Internationale Gesellschaft für Empirische Literaturwissenschaft). Moreover, in Basque, 'igel' means 'frog,' which echoes the society's efforts to become a genuinely international professional association. Although heavily supported by researchers in North America and Europe, IGEL membership includes researchers from China, Japan, Israel, Brazil, and elsewhere. And, the most recent biennial conference was attended by researchers from 22 different countries.

A Basque 'igel'