Researches sat around table having a discussion

Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society

Our Members

Core Research Team

Phil Davis

Professor Philip Davis, Director

My main concerns are: Literature, emotion and personal thinking. Literary thinking as compared with more oridinary ways of thinking about existence. The value of serious reading and its relation to health and mental health agendas. What thinking with and about books might be like in the twenty-first century. I work in close collaboration with The Reader Organization in bringing literature to a wide variety of groups and persons outside the University.

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Josie Billington

Dr Josie Billington, Deputy Director

I specialise in Victorian literature and in research on reading and health.  I have published extensively on the power of literary reading to influence mental health and well-being, particularly in the areas of depression and dementia. I am currently engaged in interdisciplinary research projects related to reading in prisons, chronic pain, reading with children and families, and the psychology of reading, with colleagues in Medicine, Health and Psychological Sciences, and with national charity The Reader Organisation.

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Rhiannon Corcoran

Professor Rhiannon Corcoran

My main research interests lie in the psychological study of mental health difficulties. My background in neuropsychology enables me to explore the fundamental cognitive and affective mechanisms underlying psychopathological constructs using converging methods. I adopt transdiagnostic, dimensional and symptom -based approaches to my biopsychosocial research into social cognition, decision-making / reasoning and stimulus independent thought. I am particularly interested in the interaction between the environment, communities and the mechanisms of mental health and wellbeing.

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University of Liverpool Collaborators:


Cross-institutional collaborators:

  • Professor Hamish Fyfe, Director George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries University of Glamorgan
  • Dr Rachel Levy, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Martin Orrell, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Rick Rylance, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London
  • Professor Guillaume Thierry, Department of Psychology, University of Bangor

Honorary Fellows:

  • Professor David Constantine
  • Professor David Miall
  • Mr Brian Nellist MBE
  • Professor Keith Oatley
  • Mr Adam Phillips
  • Dr Mette Steenberg