How can insights into the Zeitgeist of Generation Z help secondary-school students become more engaged readers of literature and prepare them for their future role as responsible citizens? As a PhD candidate you will investigate the socio-didactic dimension of Anglophone literature in Dutch English Foreign Language education. Linking this to the ongoing scholarly debate on 'metamodernism', you will contribute to the innovation of current EFL literature education at secondary level.
In recent years, the lack of reading motivation among Dutch adolescents has been a topic of much discussion and a cause for concern. Nevertheless, the popularity of Anglophone young adult fiction and social media platforms such as #BookTok show that Generation Z is not necessarily averse to reading and storytelling. In fact, some books and literary genres and their characteristically inclusive treatment of recurring (societal) themes may be seen as representative of a zeitgeist in which, following the contemporary scholarly debate on 'metamodernism', connection and sincerity are central.
Starting from the premise that Anglophone literature has a socio-didactic potential in the Dutch English Foreign Language classroom, this project will focus on literature education within the school subject of English. It will take stock of students' reading habits to investigate whether and, if so, how scholarly insights into the current spirit of the age are integrated into literature education at the secondary level. In addition, and on the basis of those insights, how can secondary-level literature education be improved in such a way that it better prepares students for their future participation in society as responsible citizens? You will research these topics through a mixed methods approach, which combines reviewing literature and teaching materials with conducting (in-school) surveys and interviews.
Your research will be embedded in the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH
) and you will be part of the Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH
). You will devote 75% of your time to the research for and writing of your PhD thesis. The remaining 25% will be spent on training and academic service to the Faculty of Arts, including teaching.