New Guest Post for Changing Lives, Changing Minds

Hi all,

I’ve written another guest post for the Changing Lives Through Literature Blog: Changing Lives, Changing Minds. I’ll be heading to Boston again in February to attend their annual conference and am really looking forward to spending more time in the area. For those of you who don’t know, my MA thesis project directly involves the work of Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL)–an alternative measures program in the US that sentences high-risk reoffenders to join reading groups and study with English professors. It has been proven to reduce a criminals chance of reoffending and proves, I think, that reading fiction changes us.

My thesis will link the effects of CLTL with Keith Oatley’s seminal research on the psychology of fiction and David Miall’s (my former professor and mentor) groundbreaking work on literariness–i.e., what is it about great literature that makes it so great anyway?

Please leave any questions or comments you have below.



2 thoughts on “New Guest Post for Changing Lives, Changing Minds

  1. Allan

    A popularizing pioneer of the use of literature to change lives, and a Canadian author and speaker known beyond the academic community, is Dr. Joseph Gold, a local professor of English at the University of Waterloo, and a marriage and family therapist. Dr. Gold’s writings, including ‘Read for Your Life’, explain how we can make use of fiction and poetry in constructing, repairing and understanding our own lives. Read for Your Life has been through several printings, has an honoured place on in our family library, and is a good read for the layperson interested in your study passion.


  2. Hi Ian,

    Dr Gold is an English professor emeritus from the University of Waterloo’s English department. I’m very familiar with Gold’s work and enquired if any current faculty knew him when I began my MA at UW. There is currently only one professor in the faculty who knows Dr Gold–he has been retired from the department for over a decade, practicing as a family therapist in North Bay. One of Gold’s close colleagues remains in the department and has agreed to supervise my thesis work, which is great.

    Read for Your Life is a wonderful book, likely one of the most important books I’ve read. Thanks for this comment. I’m happy to meet someone else who is familiar with Gold’s work.


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